The Savage Truth: The court, wedding cakes and an election

So how are the U.S. Supreme Court, wedding cakes, and an election turning heads and raising eyebrows?

They're linked because they're on a collision course.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over whether a Colorado baker can refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.

Citing strongly held religious beliefs, Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., refused to bake a wedding cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission became involved in the situation and Masterpiece filed suit against the commission. 

Phillips wants the high court to allow his religious rights to out weigh the couple's right to equal protection under the law.

According to the suit, Phillips offered to bake a birthday cake for the couple. But he declined to bake a wedding cake for them. He contends it would promote same-sex marriage, something Phillips vigorously opposes because of his religious beliefs.

Other cases involving gay rights and religious beliefs have surfaced around the nation. But the Phillips case is the first one heard by the Supreme Court since Justice Neil Gorsuch, a conservative appointed by President Donald Trump, became a member.

A ruling in the Masterpiece case is expected later this year.

Meanwhile in Alabama, voters are scheduled to cast ballots Tuesday in the runoff for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. Sessions resigned to become U.S. Attorney General.

The two runoff candidates are Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones. In the Republican primary, Moore defeated two opponents to win the nomination. One of them was the interim U.S. Senator Luther Strange.

Former Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Strange to the position until an election could be held to fill the vacancy. Although Strange received Trump's endorsement during the primary, Moore defeated him in the runoff.

Moore, a former Alabama state Supreme Court chief justice, isn't a stranger to controversy. Officials removed Moore from his chief justice job twice.

The first removal came when he refused a federal court order to remove a copy of the Ten Commandments from his courtroom. The second removal came when Moore refused to issue same sex marriage licenses after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriages.

Since becoming the Republican nominee, several women have accused the 70-year-old Moore of sexual misconduct when he was in his 30s. One of the women claims Moore molested her when she was 14. Other women have accused Moore of stalking teens at a mall during that time.

Moore has denied the sexual misconduct accusations.

When the accusations first surfaced, many Republicans, including U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, denounced Moore and asked him to withdraw from the race. But many in the Alabama religious community, a strong Republican contingency, have stood by Moore. They have attacked Moore's accusers, saying they're lying.

One Alabama church joined that group. The Living Way Ministries Church in Opelika posted a pro-Moore message on its sign. "They falsely accused Jesus," the signs reads, "Vote Roy Moore."

Since evangelical groups rallied behind Moore, some anti-Moore Republicans have reconsidered their opposition. Trump originally stayed out of the campaign, but he recently endorsed Moore and promised to campaign for him before the election.

McConnell has softened his stance on Moore, saying it's up to Alabama voters to determine who their next senator will be.

If Moore wins the Senate seat, he's expected to continue his crusade against gay marriage whenever he can. If the Supreme Court rules against the Colorado baker, Moore would be expected to denounce the court decision and try to come up with something to override it.

We'll learn how Alabama voters feel Tuesday.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment