Although same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S., some business owners want no part of it. They claim that they shouldn't have to be involved in photographing, catering or even baking a cake for a same-sex wedding if they believe that homosexuality is a sin.
Such refusals have led to court battles between couples who say businesses are discriminating against them by not providing a service they would provide to anyone else. Now the issue is headed to the country's highest court.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case involving a Colorado bakery owner who refused to bake a wedding cake for two men. The couple took him to court. They prevailed over the baker in a state appeals court and the state Supreme Court, so the U.S. Supreme Court justices were asked to take up the case. The justices finally agreed to take it up after their new term begins in October.
Decisions in similar cases have largely varied based on state laws regarding discrimination against people for their sexual orientation. Businesses and others, however, have claimed they were the ones suffering discrimination for their religious beliefs if they were required to provide a service contrary to their faith
A Florida court decision earlier this year addressed a case with a unique twist on this issue. A mother and daughter who own an Orlando bakery refused to put a message on a cake that said, "Homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord." The women, who identify as Christians, say that although they put biblical messages on cakes frequently, they found it "mean" and "ugly" that someone would want this on a cake. They prevailed over the prospective customer in court.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision could help settle disputes throughout the country where a merchant's religious beliefs bump up against someone else's right to service. The court has sided in the past with those who have cited their faith in their arguments for not providing a service.
Many people wonder why people would even want to patronize a business owner who didn't want to serve them. However, not everyone lives in an area where there are multiple options for a service. Sometimes, people simply believe that they are seeking justice for themselves and others by going to court. Whatever your reason, it's essential to get experienced legal guidance if you are considering pursuing a lawsuit,
Source: USA Today, "Supreme Court will hear religious liberty challenge to gay weddings," Richard Wolf, June 26, 2017