By Ken Camp // The Baptist Standard

This is an excerpt — read the full article on the Baptist Standard’s website

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado Christian baker who refused to design a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding reception, but the ruling’s narrow scope prompted widely ranging responses—and even led opposing lawyers to claim at least partial victory.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 on behalf of cake baker Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, but the justices focused primarily on how the commission handled the case rather than on broader questions of religious liberty and discrimination. …

The court failed to address the core question by basing its decision on the actions of the administrative commission charged with enforcing civil rights laws, rather than determining whether the business owner violated the law by refusing to provide a service, said Holly Hollman, general counsel for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

“Religious liberty protects beliefs and actions related to marriage. It does not mean that religious beliefs provide blanket exemptions to nondiscrimination laws that protect our neighbors,” Hollman said.

At the same time, she added: “Religious objectors, like all Americans, have the right to be treated with respect and not to have their religious beliefs denigrated. As we consider these difficult issues in future cases, we all will fare better when we acknowledge the legitimate interests on both sides of these disputes and approach each other with civility and respect.”

Last October, the Baptist Joint Committee filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing Colorado’s public accommodation law, as applied in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, “strikes the right balance between respect for religious liberty and the protection of individuals’ right to participate in the commercial marketplace free from discrimination.” …

Visit the Baptist Standard’s website to read the full article.