Justices Send Same-Sex Wedding Case Back to Oregon Court of Appeals

June 17, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court tossed an Oregon appeals court ruling against bakers who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The justices’ one-sentence order directs appellate judges in Oregon to reconsider the case in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling last term in the case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm’n.

In that case the high court ruled in favor of a baker from Colorado who would not make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

The baker, Jack Phillips, had claimed he was subjected to anti-religious bias when the Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined he’d violated state anti-discrimination statutes when he refused to bake the couple’s wedding cake.

The Oregon appellate ruling in the case remanded on Monday, Klein, Melissa, E., Et v. Ore. Bureau of Labor & Industries, was handed down before the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling.

Melissa and Aaron Klein, the bakers in the underlying case in Oregon, paid a $135,000 judgment to the couple for declining to create a cake for them in 2013.

Rachel Bowman-Cryer had gone to the Klein’s bakery, Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Ore., with her mother in January 2013, and requested that a cake be made for Rachel’s wedding.

Aaron Klein asked for the date of the ceremony and the names of the bride and groom, and when he was told there was no groom, he apologized and explained his bakery did not make cakes for same-sex weddings.

According to court documents, Bowman-Cryer and her mother went back to their car where Rachel burst into tears.

As she sobbed, her mother returned to the shop and explained to Klein that she once thought like him, but that her opinions changed when she discovered she had two gay children.

Klein was unmoved and responded by quoting Leviticus: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

The justices’ decision to punt the case back to state court, keeps the issue of balancing LGBTQ rights against the religious objections of merchants off the court’s election-year docket.

However, they have already agreed to decide whether federal civil rights law protects people from job discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity during their next term, which begins October 7 and runs through the presidential primary season.

Civil Rights

NAACP President: ‘We Are the Owners of This Government,’ Not Its Victims
Civil Rights
NAACP President: ‘We Are the Owners of This Government,’ Not Its Victims
November 11, 2020
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of NAACP, was the special guest this week at the Meridian International Center, a non-partisan center for diplomacy and global leadership. He shared his perspective on recent general election results including their impact on the racial justice movement, black... Read More

Supreme Court Blocks Injured Officer's Suit Against Leader of Black Lives Matter Rally
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Blocks Injured Officer's Suit Against Leader of Black Lives Matter Rally

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday set aside an appeals court ruling by a panel of conservative judges that held an injured police officer could sue and win damages from the leader of a Black Lives Matter protest rally. The case had raised alarms among civil libertarians, who said it... Read More

Chicago 7 Prosecutor: 'They Were Going to Try to Destroy Our Trial. And They Did a Damn Good Job'
Civil Rights
Chicago 7 Prosecutor: 'They Were Going to Try to Destroy Our Trial. And They Did a Damn Good Job'

CHICAGO — Even five decades later, former federal prosecutor Dick Schultz has a pretty good idea of when the legendary Chicago 7 trial started to go off the rails: during the testimony of the very first witness. That day in September 1969, U.S. District Judge Julius Hoffman halted the trial after he was informed... Read More

Prosecutors Say They Won’t Enforce Anti-Abortion Laws as Protests Spread
Civil Rights
Prosecutors Say They Won’t Enforce Anti-Abortion Laws as Protests Spread
October 19, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A nationwide coalition of prosecutors is pledging not to enforce anti-abortion laws as protests spread against a Supreme Court nominee who is a staunch abortion opponent. They issued their “Joint Statement from Elected Prosecutors” last week during Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy... Read More

Supreme Court Refuses to Halt By-Mail Abortion Pills
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Refuses to Halt By-Mail Abortion Pills

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court let women, for now, keep obtaining abortion-inducing pills by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic, deferring action on a Trump administration request to reinstate a requirement that patients visit a medical facility. In an unsigned, one-paragraph order, the court said a... Read More

Act Restores Private Right to Sue on Discriminatory Educational Practices
Education
Act Restores Private Right to Sue on Discriminatory Educational Practices
September 17, 2020
by Sara Wilkerson

WASHINGTON - The House passed the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act (EIEA), legislation on Wednesday that will restore students’ and parents’ right to hold schools accountable for racial discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EIEA was brought to the House... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top