The decision is narrow and only applies to this specific case.
The Supreme Court sided with Colorado baker Jack Phillips and absolved him of discrimination charges on Monday.
The Masterpiece Bakery owner refused to make a cake for same-sex couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig back in 2012, citing that it would compromise his religious beliefs.
Today's vote was an overwhelming 7-2 in favor of Phillips, Justice Anthony Kennedy writing the opinion. Kennedy has long been an advocate for gay rights including the right to marry.
Many worried about the outcome of this decision, fearing that it would open the floodgates for other businesses to openly discriminate against the LGBT community or anyone for that matter just because of their religious beliefs. But today's ruling was narrow and only applies to this case, no changes were made to the Constitution.
SCOTUS also reaffirmed that LGBT patrons are included in protection by the law and the Constitution.
The ACLU represented the couple and that organization's David D. Cole wrote in court briefs back in December, "The question, rather, is whether the Constitution grants businesses open to the public the right to violate laws against discrimination in the commercial marketplace if the business happens to sell an artistic product."
Today's ruling said in part, "The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression."
Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven released the following statement in response to the ruling:
“The Court today has offered dangerous encouragement to those who would deny civil rights to LGBT people and people living with HIV. Religious freedom under our Constitution has always meant the right to believe whatever you wish but not to act on your beliefs in ways that harm others. The Court today alarmingly fails to heed that distinction. Lambda Legal will continue to fight the establishment of evangelical Christianity as the official government religion. We will fiercely resist the coming effort that will seek to turn this ruling into a broad license to discriminate.
“This is a deeply disappointing day in American jurisprudence. Today’s decision should have been a firm, direct affirmance of longstanding equality law. Instead, the Supreme Court has become an accomplice in the right’s strategy to hollow out one of its finest achievements, the right to equal marriage, and create what Justice Ginsberg memorably termed ‘skim milk marriages.’ We will continue to fight in every arena and in every court until LGBT people and people living with HIV have full equality under the law in every aspect of our lives. We deserve no less.”
You can read the entire court document HERE.
This is a developing story.
The is article has been updated to reflect Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the ruling, not Kelly as was written before.