An update and Pagan reactions to the Masterpiece Cake case

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments Tuesday for the case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd., et, al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, et. al. As noted on the SCOTUSblog, “Lines began forming outside the Supreme Court last week for one of the biggest oral arguments of the year, in the case of a Colorado man who says that requiring him to create custom cakes for same-sex weddings would violate his religious beliefs.” The case is being touted as the biggest and most talked-about of this court term.

Masterpiece Cakeshop case takes center stage in the battle over religious freedom

WASHINGTON D.C. – The now famous Masterpiece Cakeshop case is set to begin its hearing Tuesday in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The case (Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd., et, al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, et. al) pits a cake baker against the state of Colorado.The story has been closely followed by the media for several years as it brings into question the limits and the scope of religious freedom in the public sphere. In 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig walked into the Lakewood-based Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a cake for their wedding.

Update on Supreme Court religious freedom cases

UNITED STATES — In an update to a story we reported in May, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) did finally rule in the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer case. The decision states that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources grant policy was in violation of the First Amendment. The state had rejected the church’s application for an improvement grant on the basis of it being a religious institution. However, SCOTUS stated that the church’s services and its improvements were a “public benefit.” Therefore, the state’s denial violated the free exercise clause.

Future SCOTUS ruling could impact Pagan organizations

The Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in a case that could result in Pagan organizations becoming eligible for state and federal grant monies. The case, Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v Comer, revolves around a Missouri-based church that applied for a state grant to resurface its playground. The state of Missouri had originally decided that religious schools were not eligible to receive state grant funds. However, after the lawsuit was underway, the state reversed that decision and will now allow religious schools to participate in that program going forward. Even though the court case was resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, SCOTUS took the case for review anyway.