Members of equality and LGBTQ groups in Kansas said they’re frustrated by the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a same-sex couple’s wedding cake because of his religion.
The justices 7-2 ruling Monday turns on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Jack Phillips.
However, the court did not decide whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people.
KSN spoke with Equality Kansas as well as a Wichita pastor who serves the marginalized population.
“It’s a combination of frustration and anger. Frustration that here we go again and anger that here we go again,” said Equality Kansas Executive Director Tom Witt.
Witt said the ruling opens doors for additional discrimination.
“We are going to see more things like that where people try to say well, it’s because of my religion that I get to legally discriminate against you,” Witt explained.
Jackie Carter, the senior pastor at Table of Hope Metropolitan Community Church, agreed with Witt. She said the ruling leaves a lot of unanswered questions about what store owners can and can’t legally do.
“If I decide that I don’t like somebody just because of their looks, then do I have the rights to say I have a deeply-held religious belief that says I can’t deal with people in red clothes because red is associated with the devil and therefore I shouldn’t serve people in red clothes?” Carter said.
Carter, who identifies as homosexual, ministers to people who are or may have been discriminated against.
“I am a same-gender loving person and I have been kicked out of churches. I have been marginalized in a number of ways because I don’t look the role that my gender was assigned to me, so it has opened the door to a lot of discrimination in my life. I just felt this tremendous call from God to work specifically with this community, so that’s what I do.”
Both Carter and Witt said Monday’s decision will not stop their continued fight for equal rights.
“We keep working in the statehouse. We keep working in municipalities,” Witt said.
“For me, we have to continue loving people and we have to continue advocating for laws that support diversity and inclusion rather than exclusion,” Carter said.
Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion that the issue “must await further elaboration.”