Supreme Court

US Supreme Court to decide Colorado gay wedding cake case: A timeline of events

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a Colorado baker discriminated against a gay couple as he declined to bake a cake for their wedding.

The Supreme Court said Monday that it would hear the case —Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission — next term.

The case asks the high court to balance the religious rights of the baker against the couple's right to equal treatment under the law. Similar disputes have popped up across the United States.

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CASE OF BAKER'S REFUSAL TO MAKE WEDDING CAKE FOR GAY COUPLE

The decision to take on the case reflects renewed energy among the court's conservative justices, whose ranks have recently been bolstered by the addition of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the high court.

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., declined to make a cake for the wedding celebration of two gay men in 2012. Phillips told the couple that he would make a birthday cake but could not make a cake that would promote same-sex marriage due to his religious beliefs.

July 2012

Shopping for a cake for their upcoming wedding and celebration, couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig stopped into Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Jack Phillips, the bakery’s owner, informed the couple that he did not provide cakes for same-sex weddings and celebrations due to his religious beliefs.

“What should have been a joyous occasion had turned into a humiliating occasion,” Deborah Munn, the mother of Craig, wrote in a blog post for the American Civil Liberties Union about the experience.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OR BIGOTRY? SUPREME COURT MULLS HIGH-STAKES GAY WEDDING CASE

The ACLU of Colorado represented the same-sex couple in their complaint against Phillips.

December 2013

Judge Robert Spencer of the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts decided — in line with the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) — that the bakeshop had violated a Colorado law which prohibits businesses from refusing service due to a person’s sexual orientation.

Masterpiece Cakeshop appealed the decision.

May 2014

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission decided at a public hearing that Masterpiece had violated Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act, or CADA.

COURT: CHRISTIAN BAKER MUST PROVIDE WEDDING CAKES TO SAME-SEX COUPLES

Phillips was ordered to change its company policies as well as offer “comprehensive staff training” to employees. The cake shop was also required to provide quarterly reports about how it handled prospective customers.

August 2015

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that Phillips cannot cite his religious beliefs in his refusal to provide a service to same-sex couples.

COURT: BAKER CAN’T CITE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS IN DENYING CAKES TO SAME-SEX WEDDINGS

With the ruling, Phillips could face a penalty if he continues to deny wedding cakes to same-sex couples.

April 2016

The Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal from Phillips.

July 2016

On behalf of Phillips, the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal nonprofit, petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case.

“We are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living,” ADF senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement at the time.

June 2017

The Supreme Court agreed to consider the case next term, which begins in the fall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.