Split Reactions: Supreme Court’s Ruling on Baker Not Making Same-Sex Marriage Cake

Some in our area feel this is a tough case to be on one side of, while others from North Dakota stand firmly that the court's decision was the right one

FARGO, N.D. — The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same–sex couple.

The court didn’t focus on whether a person or a business can refuse service to gay people, instead ruling that the Colorado Rights Commission, that first heard the case, violated the baker’s rights.

“The court’s decision today makes it very clear that the government must respect Jack Philips’ belief about marriage. If we want to have freedom for ourselves, extend it to those with whom we disagree,” said Kristen K. Waggoner, the Attorney for Jack Phillips.

The ruling is a win for the baker but leaves unsettled the broader constitutional questions the case presented.

Some in our area feel this is a tough case to be on one side of, while others from North Dakota stand firmly that the court’s decision was the right one.

After this Supreme Court ruling, there is one major discussion…the freedom people have to be who they are and the freedom of those to practice their religion.

Some in North Dakota, like Brittany Jones with the Family Policy Alliancew of North Dakota, says she stands next to the Colorado ruling.

“This is a great opportunity for the legislature in North Dakota to make a strong stand and protect religious beliefs through legislation that ensures that every person has the right to do business and the right to live out their beliefs in North Dakota,” Jones said.

Others, like Joe Larson, an openly gay pastor with St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Fargo, says it’s a reminder to always have support from people who believe in you.

“Hopefully people can find other places and businesses that do support who they are and what they want to do. That’s all about love…that people like us have a voice and say I’m willing to be supportive. If this business doesn’t want to work with you, I will,” Larson said.

This case may not have been in North Dakota, but people in our region and all across the country are invested.

How will the decision affect our nation?

“I think that it is very healthy for society because it means the discussion can continue rather than shutting down one side of the argument,” Jones said.

“We live with that on a daily basis because discrimination is a reality; homophobia is still a reality in our world. SO we need to create spaces that are supportive,” Larson said.

Regardless of their stance, many believe this case is about the first amendment.

“It’s complicated because we also want to balance things with the freedom of speech and that’s was this case really was about,” Larson said.

“The first amendment was designed and created to protect the minority belief and protect even the less favored belief,” Jones said.

As for what will happen with future cases?

Some are going to continue to fight for equal rights

“It’s most about giving people special rights, but protecting people from unfair discrimination based on who they are,” Larson said.

And others will fight for legislatures to protect their beliefs.

“And the government has no right to decide when a belief is illegitimate or disfavored and they have to respect that belief even if the majority doesn’t agree with it,” Jones said.

Justice Kennedy pointed out future cases might end up with a different ruling.

Noting these disputes must be resolved without disrespecting religious beliefs, while also protecting the constitutional rights of same–sex couples.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections