AUSTIN, Texas -- Texans on both sides of the Colorado baker case are claiming some victories. After the high court ruled Monday in favor of the baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, religious and social conservatives praised the decision for recognizing that religious beliefs deserve protection.
But LGBTQ rights advocates focused on the court’s ruling which made it clear that it doesn’t give businesses free rein to discriminate against LGBTQ customers.
“I actually think there is a clear winner and it's the principle of anti-discrimination in the marketplace,” said Lawrence Sager, a constitutional theorist at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
Sager said Texas cities that have anti-discrimination ordinances on the books, like Austin and San Antonio, should feel affirmed by this decision.
Texas does not have a statewide anti-discrimination law, though.
Some conservatives have said this bolsters the case for state lawmakers to file and pass “religious refusal” laws in the 2019 legislative session.
“Where ‘religious refusal’ has a place in this decision is anywhere where other forms of refusal are legitimate or where religious refusal is necessary as a matter of respect and equitable treatment,” Sager said. “But that will be a very limited set of circumstances.”
Click the video link above to watch the full interview with Sager on what the high court’s decision means for Texas.