Dave Mullins, right, with his husband Charlie Craig, in Denver in 2013 The gay couple is pursuing a discrimination complaint against a Colorado bakery, saying the business refused them a wedding cake for a family reception in Colorado after they were married in a MA ceremony. Anderson is the author of several books and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two separate cases.
Either way, a ruling is certain to have massive legal and cultural implications, and it may prove to be a landmark ruling similar to that of Roe v. Wade, with the ramifications being felt long into the future.
A Colorado appeals court in 2015 ruled against Phillips, arguing his company would "not convey a message supporting same-sex marriages merely by abiding by the law and serving its customers equally". When the bakery's owner heard that the cake was for two men, he said he wouldn't sell them a cake because of his religious beliefs.
The state added that Masterpiece violated Craig and Mullins's Constitutional right to equal protection. In 2012, Colorado baker Jack Phillips refused to create a cake for a gay couple's wedding reception in MA.
The legal dispute goes back to 2012 - when Colorado allowed same-sex civil union but not gay marriage.
Mr. Phillips politely declined - explaining to the gentlemen that he would make them any other type of baked item they wanted - but he simply could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.
By not hearing the Peruta case, the Supreme Court leaves in place the June 2016 decision that was at issue from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers California, Alaska, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.More news: Cosby buoyant as jury deliberates
Since then, the high court has found that marriage is a fundamental right that states may not prohibit to gay couples.
Even among more conservative religious groups, such as Mormons and white evangelicals, support is dropping for small business owners with religious objections to serving gays and lesbians, as the Deseret News reported last week. This time it was the Colorado appeals court ruling against him, upholding the original ruling.
The baker from a suburb of Denver argues he did not turn away the gay couple in 2012 because they were gay, but because their marriage violated his religious belief.
Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled against the bakery on December 6, 2013, concluding that Phillips violated the law by declining service to the couple "because of their sexual orientation".
Josh Blackman, a law professor at South Texas College of Law, said he was surprised the court made a decision to take it up and this will be a huge case next year.