5 Things You Need to Know About Today’s Supreme Court Ruling in the Anti-Gay Bakery Case

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday morning handed down a ruling in the case brought by a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, citing his Christian beliefs.

Many initial reactions from pro- and anti-gay observers and groups have been wide-ranging, and many have been wrong. (Perhaps most of all, Donald Trump Jr.'s, but more on that later.)

Here are five of the most important things you need to know about the Supreme Court's ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd., et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission et al:

1. The ruling does not allow discrimination against same-sex couples, LGBT people, or anyone else. It changes no laws and sets no precedents.

2. The ruling applies to one person only: Jack Phillips, the anti-gay Christian baker. Again, it does not set precedent, it cannot be used by others to discriminate against anyone. Period.

3. The only "person" the ruling is against is the Colorado commission that ruled against the baker – and not because of the commission's overall conclusion, that Phillips engaged in unlawful discrimination. The Supreme Court's 7-2 ruling says that the commission acted with "hostility," in this one case, against Phillips.

4. The Court's ruling calls for Americans to find a way to be tolerant towards each other, respecting the rights of gay people and the rights of people of faith. (It does not state those are two opposing groups.)

5. If anything, the Supreme Court's ruling is in part a win for the LGBT community and supporters of equality. Here's the key passage from the Court's majority opinion: "these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market."

You will no doubt see huge proclamations of victory from the anti-gay right. If they say anything other than what's above, chances are good they're false.


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