One cake, one baker, a same-sex couple and the Supreme Court. Add these ingredients together and you get the greatest cake debate in recent history.
The debate began when Charlie and David who’d been together in Denver for some time decided to marry. Their marriage was not the norm as Charlie and David were a same-sex couple. This was 2012 years before the Supreme Court would rule that the Constitution allowed for same-sex couples to wed (see Obergefell v. Hodges to read more on this landmark case).
In 2012 Masterpiece Cakeshop was on the top of the list for those in the market for a wedding cake. The owner started his shop nearly 20 years prior with a goal to pursue art that would be reflected in each of his cakes. The Cakeshop owner was also a very religious man who believed that marriage is between a man and a woman.
In 2012, the groups meeting in the Colorado cakeshop would set off a chain reaction putting a business owner against a same-sex couple. The owner of the cakeshop refused to make a wedding cake for a ceremony that opposed his beliefs. The owner would sell them anything except a wedding cake. And so this seemingly minor disagreement over wedding cake would last years. This debate would eventually lead the groups to the Supreme Court where their argument would be heard by the nine Justices’.
After hearing oral arguments the nine justices will debate this hotly contested issue on what many believe will be a close vote that could easily hinge on Justice Kennedy.
Which way is Kennedy going to vote? Here are a couple of interesting items from Tuesday’s argument.
- Kennedy whom many believe is the swing vote stated “tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual. It seems to me that the state(Colorado) in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs.”
- Colorado argued that Phillips discriminates on the basis of identity, rather than the idea of what constitutes marriage. Kennedy called the repeated attempts to characterize Phillips as discriminating on the basis of identity “too facile.”