Protesters rally outside Supreme Court over wedding cake case

Yahoo News Photo Staff

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared closely divided with likely pivotal vote Justice Anthony Kennedy posing tough questions about a Christian baker’s refusal to make a wedding cake for a gay couple but also questioning whether a Colorado civil rights commission that ruled on the issue was biased against religion.

The nine justices heard an intense, extended 80-minute oral argument in the major case on whether certain businesses can refuse service to gay couples if they oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

The case concerns an appeal by Jack Phillips, a baker who runs Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, of a state court ruling that his refusal to make a cake for gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012 on the basis of his religious beliefs violated a Colorado anti-discrimination law.

Kennedy, a conservative who sometimes sides with the court’s four liberals in major cases, raised concerns about issuing a ruling siding with the baker that would give a green light to discrimination against gay people.  (Reuters)

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<p>People arrive outside the US Supreme Court before Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is heard on Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

People arrive outside the US Supreme Court before Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is heard on Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Conservative Christian baker Jack Phillips (C), his daughter Lisa (3rd L) and other members of his family and legal team pose for photographs in front of the Supreme Court after the court heard the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission on Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

Conservative Christian baker Jack Phillips (C), his daughter Lisa (3rd L) and other members of his family and legal team pose for photographs in front of the Supreme Court after the court heard the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission on Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

<p>Demonstrators rally in front of the Supreme Court building on the day the court is to hear the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

Demonstrators rally in front of the Supreme Court building on the day the court is to hear the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters gather in front of the Supreme Court building on the day the court is to hear the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

Protesters gather in front of the Supreme Court building on the day the court is to hear the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

<p>David Mullins (L) and Charlie Craig wait to speak to journalists after the Supreme Court hear the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

David Mullins (L) and Charlie Craig wait to speak to journalists after the Supreme Court hear the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

<p>Charlie Craig speaks to supporters outside the US Supreme Court as Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is heard on Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

Charlie Craig speaks to supporters outside the US Supreme Court as Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is heard on Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>The Supreme Court is seen while arguments for Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is heard on Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is seen while arguments for Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is heard on Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Jack Phillips, center left and next to attorney Kristen Waggoner, waves to supporters as they leave the Supreme Court ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ case, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

Jack Phillips, center left and next to attorney Kristen Waggoner, waves to supporters as they leave the Supreme Court ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ case, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

<p>Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., left, takes a selfie with Caitlin Rooney, who is with the Center for American Progress and dressed as the Constitution, during a rally outside of the Supreme Court which is hearing the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., left, takes a selfie with Caitlin Rooney, who is with the Center for American Progress and dressed as the Constitution, during a rally outside of the Supreme Court which is hearing the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

<p>A woman holds up a sign as people gather outside of the Supreme Court which is hearing the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

A woman holds up a sign as people gather outside of the Supreme Court which is hearing the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

<p>Rev. Brad Wells, left, Rev. Patrick Mahoney, and Paula Oas, kneel in prayer in front of the Supreme Court, as a counter-protester holds a sign that says “What’s Christian About Discrimination,” while the court hears the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ case, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

Rev. Brad Wells, left, Rev. Patrick Mahoney, and Paula Oas, kneel in prayer in front of the Supreme Court, as a counter-protester holds a sign that says “What’s Christian About Discrimination,” while the court hears the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ case, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

<p>Lydia Macy, 17, left, and Mira Gottlieb, 16, both of Berkeley, Calif., rally outside of the Supreme Court which is hearing the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

Lydia Macy, 17, left, and Mira Gottlieb, 16, both of Berkeley, Calif., rally outside of the Supreme Court which is hearing the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

<p>Police guard the outside the US Supreme Court while arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado case are heard Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

Police guard the outside the US Supreme Court while arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado case are heard Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>As Janae Stracke, left, and Annabelle Rutledge, both with Concerned Women for America, hold up signs, as Jessica Haas, of Indianapolis, paints during a rally with supporters of cake artist Jack Phillips outside of the Supreme Court which is hearing the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

As Janae Stracke, left, and Annabelle Rutledge, both with Concerned Women for America, hold up signs, as Jessica Haas, of Indianapolis, paints during a rally with supporters of cake artist Jack Phillips outside of the Supreme Court which is hearing the ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’ today, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

<p>People gather outside the US Supreme Court before Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is heard on Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Protesters rally outside Supreme Court

People gather outside the US Supreme Court before Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is heard on Dec. 5, 2017 in Washington. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

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