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SCOTUS takes on religious liberty case

The Supreme Court of the United States is hearing a case this week that will undoubtedly have a major impact on Americans for years to come. The case pits the interests of a gay couple against the baker who refused to make a wedding cake for the men.

Jack Phillips, the owner of Colorado's Masterpiece Cakeshop said he believes God has decreed that marriage is only to be between a man and a woman. David Mullins and Charlie Craig say that Phillips' refusal to make a cake to celebrate their wedding is unacceptable discrimination.

LGBT rights advocates say that if the court comes down on Phillips' side, it will undo much of the good done by the court's decision just two years ago that made same-sex marriage legal across the nation. An attorney for the couple said, "The question . . . is whether the Constitution grants businesses open to the public the right to violate laws against discrimination in the commercial marketplace if the business happens to sell an artistic product."

Religious freedom advocates argue that the First Amendment guarantees the baker the right to decline to make a wedding cake that would celebrate a marriage in conflict with his religious beliefs. They say that the baker should not be compelled to use his talents to create a cake that celebrates and condones a marriage that violates his faith.

Both sides agree that if the court rules in favor of Masterpiece and Phillips, the decision would open the door for others selling professional services to similarly claim exemption from public accommodation laws.

No matter what the outcome of the case, our attorneys will continue to protect the rights and interests of LGBT employees in matters of discrimination in the workplace. Contact Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c. to discuss your situation and legal options.

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