Should businesses be allowed to deny service on religious grounds? | The Tylt

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Should businesses be allowed to deny service on religious grounds?
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In June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. While many religious rights activists hoped this case would solve the question of religious liberty versus civil liberty, legal scholars pointed out the ruling was too narrow to truly put the issue to rest. There are now several other similar laws being discussed around the country. Do you think these laws are just?

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LGBTQ activists and conservative religious leaders hoped the Masterpiece Cakeshop case would resolve the "religious liberty" issue for the entire country. However, as CNN reports, the Court ruled on a very narrow aspect of the case, leaving many issues still undecided. 

The court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed hostility toward the baker based on his religious beliefs. The ruling is a win for baker Jack Phillips, who cited his beliefs as a Christian, but leaves unsettled broader constitutional questions on religious liberty.
"Today's decision is remarkably narrow, and leaves for another day virtually all of the major constitutional questions that this case presented," said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law. "It's hard to see the decision setting a precedent."
The ruling, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, held that members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed animus toward Phillips specifically when they suggested his claims of religious freedom were made to justify discrimination.
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Oregon bakers are now picking where the Colorado baker Jack Phillips left off in June. After Aaron and Melissa Klein refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, Oregon state ordered them to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to the couple. After the state Court of Appeals upheld the ruling, the Oregon Supreme Court declined to hear the case. The Oregonian reports the Kleins are now hoping to take their case to the Supreme Court, citing First Amendment issues. 

The Kleins' attorneys said the Colorado case left unanswered the central question of the case, which they framed as a First Amendment issue: whether the government can force business owners to create a message contrary to their religious beliefs.
"Freedom of speech has always included the freedom not to speak the government's message," said Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty, the Texas-based law firm representing the Kleins. "This case can clarify whether speech is truly free if it is government mandated."

The Kleins are hoping their case could set precedent for the country.

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In March, Senator Mike Lee of Utah reintroduced legislation known as the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). According to Lee, FADA is “designed to prevent the federal government from discriminating against individuals or institutions based on their beliefs about marriage.” NBC News reports that this, like other "religious liberty" laws, have repercussions far beyond just baking cakes.

"The First Amendment Defense Act is harmful legislation that would legalize state-sanctioned discrimination and undermine key civil rights protections for LGBTQ people,” said David Stacy, government affairs director for the national LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign (HRC). “Supporters of this legislation are using religious liberty as a sword to hurt LGBTQ families rather than staying true to our long tradition of it serving as a shield to protect religious expression from government overreach."
According to HRC, FADA would, among other things, permit individuals, nonprofits and many businesses using taxpayer funds to refuse service to same-sex couples; allow nonprofits and some businesses to deny gay and lesbian employees time off to care for a sick spouse; and permit government-funded shelters from housing same-sex couples.
Ian Thompson, a legislative representative with the American Civil Liberties Union, raised similar objections, saying FADA “opens the door to a wide range of taxpayer-funded discrimination.”
“It would let private companies and nonprofit government contractors — which includes a significant portion of social services providers — refuse to provide a service or benefit to people because they do not fit their definition of family, from same-sex married couples and their children, a single parent and their child, or an unmarried couple who are living together,” Thompson said in a statement. “Whatever the sponsors of this shameful legislation may say, this is a blatant example of using religion as a justification to discriminate.”
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should businesses be allowed to deny service on religious grounds?
#JustBakeTheCake
A festive crown for the winner
#MyBusinessMyChoice