A major legal case is coming up next month. In December, the Supreme Court of the United States will decide on a key law relating to civil rights. It is known as Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
There are two issues at play here. One is the need for civil rights laws to protect the rights of all couples, regardless of orientation. Another is the right of businesses to choose which customers they want to serve. Which right is more important? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 decided that it is more important to protect civil rights than it is to let people choose who they want to hire. Will the Supreme Court decide that the same applies when it comes to businesses choosing their customers?
Another issue at play here is religious freedom. Do the store owner’s religious beliefs come into play here, and are they more important than protecting civil rights?
In a previous case, the Supreme Court, led by Justice Antonin Scalia, ruled against Native Americans who brought a lawsuit against the state of Oregon. It had to do with their religious ceremonies. The Supreme Court ruled that since the thing that they were not allowed to do was not based on religious discrimination, meaning that the law to prohibit it was neutral and not motivated by any religious factors, the Native Americans could not claim religious discrimination. It is possible that the Supreme Court will decide the same here, meaning that the civil rights laws are not motivated by any religious factors and are simply neutral. Therefore, it cannot be said that religious beliefs are being violated.
Another issue at stake here is whether compelling someone to bake a cake would be compelled speech, which is a violation of the First Amendment which guarantees the freedom of expression, meaning that you can choose to not say something as well.