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Christian baker's wedding cake case

Thursday, December 07, 2017

WASHINGTON - The US Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared sharply divided in the closely watched case of a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, with pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy voicing concerns about endorsing discrimination against gay people but also about anti-religious bias.

The nine justices — five conservatives and four liberals — heard an intense, almost 90-minute argument in the dispute over whether certain businesses can refuse to serve gay couples if they oppose same-sex marriage for religious reasons.

The case involving Jack Phillips, a baker who runs Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver's suburb of Lakewood and turned away gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012, pitted Colorado's anti-discrimination law against rights to freedom of speech and expression under the US Constitution's First Amendment.

Justice Kennedy, an 81-year-old champion of gay rights and free speech who wrote the landmark 2015 ruling legalising same-sex marriage nationwide, did not definitively indicate how he would vote in the ruling due by the end of June, posing tough questions to both sides.

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