CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey welcomed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that defends the religious beliefs of a wedding cake baker.
The 7-2 ruling, issued June 4, decided the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Morrisey issued the following statement:
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling preserves the freedom of conscience and sets forth that the government cannot act with hostility toward the sincerely held religious beliefs of its citizens, such as the beliefs of the baker here.
“It underscores that states must be neutral in the face of one’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
“Our office proudly joined a 20-state coalition in supporting the baker’s religious beliefs because such consideration is crucial when reviewing a civil rights issue.”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed hostility toward the baker based on his religious beliefs. Jack Phillips had cited his beliefs as a Christian, but the ruling leaves unsettled broader constitutional questions on religious liberty.
The ruling, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, ruled that members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed animus toward Phillips when they suggested his claims of religious freedom were made to justify discrimination.
The case was seen by some as a follow-up from the court's decision three years ago to clear the way for same-sex marriage. That opinion, which also written by Kennedy, expressed respect for those with religious objections to gay marriage.