DENVER (AP/CBS4) – A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said Friday.
The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple “because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage.”
The order says the cake-maker must “cease and desist from discriminating” against gay couples. Although the judge did not impose fines in this case, the business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy cakes.
I’ll continue to give the Supreme Court, speaking through conservative judicial icon Antonin Scalia, the final word on this:
As the Supreme Court majority wrote in 1990, “We have never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law … On the contrary, the record of more than a century of free exercise jurisprudence contradicts that proposition.”
Before someone complains about left-wing justices ignoring constitutional norms and legislating from the bench, note that the author of that opinion, and those words, was none other than Antonin Scalia. Enough said.
In bolstering the majority view, Scalia cites the Reynolds case from 1879, which held that “Laws … cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may [interfere] with practices … Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious beliefs superior to the law of the land.” Though government cannot outlaw beliefs, it can limit practices in some cases. Citizens may not ignore those laws because religious doctrine is not above the law of the land.
Religious socons want their religious beliefs to trump the Constitution. We may have a Christian nation, but we don’t have a Christian government. No matter how much some would like to change that.