One side argues this is about free speech and religious expression. The other says it’s about discrimination.

The US Supreme Court’s next big case on LGBTQ rights began with a cake.

This week, the Court will hear arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Division.

The case goes back to 2012. In July of that year, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a same-sex couple, went to Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, to try to buy a cake for a wedding reception. The owner, Jack Phillips, refused the request, arguing that due to his Christian beliefs, he opposed same-sex marriages and did not want to do anything that looked like an endorsement of a same-sex wedding.

Craig and Mullins filed charges of discrimination in response, citing a Colorado law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation by public accommodations (places that are open to the public, such as hotels, restaurants, and bakeries).

The issue comes down to one basic fact: Phillips is trying to discriminate against same-sex couples by denying them a service — wedding cakes — that he offers to different-sex couples, with the only key difference here being that one couple is gay and the other is straight. That is discrimination based on sexual orientation, Craig and Mullins argue. The Colorado Civil Rights Division, an administrative law judge, and the Colorado Court of Appeals sided with the couple.

But Phillips appealed the case to the Supreme Court. He argues that he’s not really discriminating against same-sex couples, because he would have served Craig and Mullins any non-wedding goods that they asked for. His only issue is that from his perspective, baking the couple a wedding cake would force him to celebrate an act he’s opposed to — and forcing him to do that, he argues, violates his First Amendment Read More Here