Monday, the Supreme Court threw out the Oregon Supreme Court's ruling against a Christian-owned bakery that declined a job making a same-sex wedding cake. They sent it back to the lower court for reconsideration in light of the SCOTUS ruling in favor of Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips. The case involved Sweet Cakes By Melissa, which was owned by a Christian couple who were slapped with $135,000 worth of fines over one cake for refusing to violate their religious beliefs.
The attorney for the lesbian couple who pressed the case called the ruling “disappointing.” Really? They’ve already relentlessly persecuted a Christian couple for their religious beliefs, forced the small business they spent their lives building into closure, and put them through an expensive, personally-devastating ordeal for years, all because they declined a job baking a cake that any number of other local bakeries would have gladly made. Now, instead of rightly throwing out this case, the SCOTUS has once again dodged the issue again and sent it back to the lower courts. I find the idea that the Oregon judges will truly "reconsider" whether they are hostile to people of faith as hard to swallow as a two-year-old wedding cake. Just how much more pain were the plaintiffs hoping to inflict?
I find it more than “disappointing” that anyone would face such an injustice in the United States. I am “disappointed” in her clients for using their new-found right to same-sex marriage to bludgeon someone else’s religious freedom rights. I’m “disappointed” in the entire Oregon governmental and judicial system for enabling such bullying, and I’m “disappointed” in the SCOTUS for creating such a muddle of clashing rights without clarifying it, then continually leaving it to be sorted out by forcing people of faith to suffer ruinous fines and prosecutions in biased lower courts.
I am at least encouraged that the SCOTUS finally seems to be slowly starting to clean up the legal mess it’s made. But instead of dealing with this piecemeal on a case-by-selectively-prosecuted-case basis, how about issuing a clear and definitive ruling upholding the supremacy of the First Amendment?