High court avoids new case over same-sex wedding cake

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court decided Monday against a high-stakes, election-year case about the competing rights of gay and lesbian couples and merchants who refuse to provide services for same-sex weddings.

The justices handed bakers in the Portland, Oregon, area a small victory by throwing out a state court ruling against them and ordering judges to take a new look at their refusal to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

The high court’s brief order directs appellate judges in Oregon to consider last term’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of a baker from Colorado who would not make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

The court ruled that baker Jack Phillips was subjected to anti-religious bias in the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s determination that he violated state anti-discrimination in refusing to bake the couple’s wedding cake.

The Oregon appellate ruling came before the court’s decision in Phillips’ case.

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