The 7-2 ruling in favor of a Colorado baker is reverberating in Connecticut.
The US Supreme Court ruled that a Colorado wedding cake maker had the right to refuse service to a same-sex couple because of his own closely held religious beliefs.
The court, however, ruled specifically on the case of Masterpiece, the shop in question, and made it clear the ruling was not meant for any kind of precedent when it comes to denying service or the interpretation of discrimination.
"I don't know if we got our freedom back but I know that we at least got our respect back and our dignity back,” said Peter Wolfgang with the Family Institute of Connecticut, the state’s leading social conservative voice. The group has opposed same-sex marriage in the past.
Wolfgang, the FIC’s executive director, said the ruling is a victory for individuals who run their businesses with their religious and conservative beliefs in mind.
"We have the right to live and work consistently with our beliefs and the government cannot punish us for having those beliefs and the government cannot decide that those beliefs are offensive,” Wolfgang said. “It's not their role, and the US Supreme Court just said that."
The American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut took a different victory away from the ruling in Washington.
Dan Barrett, the ACLU’s legal director in Connecticut, did not view the ruling as a narrow path for discrimination, but instead as protection being reaffirmed in Connecticut for certain civil rights laws.
"There is very strong language in there supporting what we all think to be true which is that states can protect those who live within their borders,” Barrett said.
He said in a state like Connecticut with a recent history of protecting civil rights for certain groups, the ruling provided support for the state to continue down that path.
"For LGBTQ folks, for anyone who is concerned about racial discrimination or age discrimination that is a very important holding that says that Connecticut laws are A, unaffected, and B, the Connecticut legislature can continue to look out and protect people as they go through the world either in commercial transactions or in housing or public accommodations."