He claimed that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not act neutrally and its decision went against his First Amendment right to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion. The Court of Appeals upheld the decision under the argument that the act of baking a cake was part of the business, not an expression of free speech or free exercise of religion. Phillips brought the case to the US Supreme Court, where the ruling was finally overturned.
According to the argument, if Masterpiece Cakeshop were forced to make a cake that promoted same-sex marriage, they should also be forced by other customers to make cakes that promoted slavery or anti-Semitism. Yes, because the love between two human beings can be compared to supremacists who seek to suppress minority groups.
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As a result, cases where the business can argue that their product is an art will find that they are exempted from non-discrimination laws practiced in 21 states across the United States. Despite the public opinion that businesses should not allow religious-based refusals, as long as the business can call its product an artwork, it can refuse customers if it does not fit with their religious beliefs.
A year before the ruling, the same bakeshop got into another similar case, this time refusing a cake to a transgender person. As of writing, there is no telling if the same case will be applied.
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First, it sets a precedent. When Phillips brought the case to the Court of Appeals, the court made its decision by citing a previous case in which three bakeries refused to serve a customer who wanted a homophobic Bible verse written, citing their refusal was because it was offensive, not because of his religion. And second, it puts into question whether businesses can still refuse customers based on personal beliefs. Over a century ago, it was perfectly legal to turn away African Americans and the Jim Crow laws were honestly one of the most embarrassing moments for us in US History.
Yet, today, we are still discriminating against people even when it has nothing to do with their business. In an ethical sense, no it is not, and that is why anti-discrimination laws exist to protect minority groups from this kind of practices.
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Anti-discrimination laws are rooted in the idea and principles of equality. A lot of people would defend Phillips with this argument: say that you own a business. If Phillips were forced to do business with a same-sex couple despite his beliefs, would you be willing to serve a member of the KKK or a politician pushing for movements that would go against your beliefs?
The roulette wheel finally stopped on no. Why did Stepanek say "yes" when so many more qualified men had said "no"? I assume Stepanek's reasoning went something like this: Man, I'm lovin' life on the beach, but I've got a chance to win the fifth most important tournament of the year without even having to fill out the entry form, or practice! That will get you quite a few tropical drinks in Thailand, even those expensive ones with hunks of fruit hanging off the edge of the glass and a parasol stuck into the middle.
Of course, it isn't about the money, and we don't like to talk about the money. But talking about the title seems even more, well, absurd, under these circumstances, no matter how much any of us would like to see Radek introduce the Chinese to "the worm" in the post-final trophy presentation ceremony.
We now know that it won't happen, but it does raise a legitimate question: should an alternate who begins play after the man he's replacing has played a match, or part of a match, be eligible to win the whole shootin' match? I could answer "yes" to that if this were a regular tournament; after all, one day a Lucky Loser may win Wimbledon. But the YEC is reserved for the top players in an annual points race; if you didn't earn enough points to get in, should you be entitled to play at the high stakes table?
What does "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" really mean? -
The way this has played out raises serious doubts in my mind, by maybe I should just chill and resist the opportunity to jump up on a high horse. Strange things happen, and we all know that perfect is the enemy of the good - although it's always tempting to fling out your chest and criticize the good. And if you think about the round robin system, you can see why the ATP and the tournament promoters use alternates to more-or-less operate as a tag team in group play.
In a round robin play, losing a guy from either of the two groups can take all the air out of the competition. But introducing alternates raises other, thorny qualification issues: should a win by a contender over an alternate who has no chance to advance to the semifinals count for the same in the standings as a result produced by two men who had qualified?
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Is an alternate really playing on a level-playing field when he has only two chances or matches by which to advance? It's worth noting that an alternate doesn't inherit a scratched competitor's record. Imagine if he did, and Andy Roddick had won his first match, banking one in the win column for Stepanek. It could be really ugly, instead of semi-ugly. With all that in mind, I have a theory about how Stepanek ended up in Shanghai sans half his clothes his own exhibitionism aside and all of his gear: The ATP higher-ups contacted the Chinese government and said, When that guy's stuff comes off the plane, I want y'all to hold it - and remember, he's blind as bat so make sure you hold the contact lenses!
But Stepanek was able to get new lenses in time for his match. As he told reporters, "Otherwise, I wouldn't see you now.
Now here's the funny part.