By Bob Allen, Baptist News Global
Below is an excerpt. Read the full article on BNG’s website.
Baptists were among religious leaders and groups signing on to briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court Oct. 30 opposing the claims of a Christian baker who for religious reasons refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Nearly 1,300 clergy and religious leaders — 41 of whom identify as Baptists — filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission claiming a state law requiring non-discrimination in public accommodation does not infringe on the free speech or religious liberty of a business owner with sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is a sacred bond only between individuals of the opposite sex.
A separate brief by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and the United Church of Christ said while “there may be more challenging cases” where a religious exemption might be warranted in the context of same-sex marriage, “this is not such a case.”
“Public accommodations laws like Colorado’s generally promote religious liberty, by protecting individuals from discrimination on account of their religion,” said the brief also joined by the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Chicago Theological Seminary.
“Such laws also promote human dignity, which is itself a religious value, by ensuring that all individuals can access the commercial marketplace on an equal basis,” the BJC brief continued. “By advancing these compelling interests, public accommodations laws like Colorado’s protect the pluralism that is so vital to American society.”