I have absolutely no problem with someone that practices everything. I have a great deal of respect for the Amish, Hassidic Jews, etc. that live fully by the teachings and don't pick and choose what they want to believe and what they want to follow. My issue is with those that claim homosexuality is a sin (by relying on ancient texts), but they do all sorts of other sins from the exact same texts because well, just because. I mean, should we put adulterers to death as Leviticus commands. Should we put those to death that curse their mother and father. Should we cast out those that have sex with a women on her period. I mean those are some of the many teachings of Leviticus in the same book as one of the widely reported bans on homosexuality. Picking and choosing what you want to believe to support your own bigotry is hypocritical, and frankly should be against the law, when that bigotry is also protected by the law. Using Religion as a shield to be an awful person was never the intent of the Constitution.
As a Jew, I have a very hard time with anyone in modern society relying on often mistranslated texts from 2500 years ago to support their bigotry, especially when those same people ignore all of the other teachings from those same texts. You can't pick and choose what you want to believe and practice just to support your own bigotry. That isn't religion, it is using religion to support your own hatred. It was what we as a society did to find support for slavery, or to keep women at a lesser level then men, or the countless other bigotries that have existed because of religion.
The massive problem with that is it allows anyone to blame whatever they want on their religion. If you deny services to black people because you're racist, you can just reference some obscure religion that is "in part hostile to" black people as your own religion. There are endless religions out there that you can practice. That doesn't make denying services to someone ok because you are a bigot but want to get away with under your so called religion.
Bummed for the Americans who were denied service for no good reason.
In other words, nobody.
As for the Americans who were denied service for a good reason, it's because Americans have a right to free exercise of religion. Whether somebody disagrees or not, the religious texts followed by Jews, Muslims and Christians are at least in part hostile to homosexuality. That makes it a complicated issue: an explicit Constitutional right (free exercise) versus another Constitutional right (equal protection based upon orientation). One doesn't -- and shouldn't -- automatically outweigh the other.
As for the ruling itself, it's a fairly narrow one. Rather than saying that religion trumps, or that free speech carries the day, it simply finds that Colorado's decision in this case showed open hostility to a religious defense, which the government is not allowed to do. Kagan / Breyer wrote a concurrence in which they indicated their belief that a fairer process without such hostility may have resulted in the same decision (i.e., that the baker had violated the law). The majority opinion is silent on that point.
But, there are all kinds of implications for cases like this, and I intend to agree with JSD: business owners shouldn't be required to violate their religion. Should Muslim caterers be required to service pig roasts? Could a devout Mormon wedding singer refuse to perform at a drag wedding?
I think, too, there's a difference between providing a service available to everyone -- selling a cake in the display case -- and requiring somebody to provide custom services, such as designing a cake for a gay wedding and personally inscribing the cake. The latter covers the situation in this ruling. Requiring somebody to participate in a practice that violates their religion just seems wrong.
Except these aren't obscure religions. Judaism, Islam and Christianity predate our country by thousands of years. This isn't a pretext to justify hate. Rather, it's a long-held religious tenant of religions that billions of people practice.
"Free exercise" has to have some meaning.
Some people are like that. Other people are devout. Why lump them in all together?
What you view as bigotry many people legitimately believe is an edict from God. They're not making it up; people have been reading the same passages from the same book for centuries.
Free exercise is at the center of our country. You can't ignore it just because you disagree with it. "Live and let live" is such an interesting concept. Generally, it's interpreted as "Let me live the way I want, while I impose my views on you".
The problem with is is you're asking the courts to determine how Christian one person is. It's not up to us to decide of someone is right with the faith or not. No person is perfect or follows their faith perfectly at all times. Under this standard, you could claim everyone is a fraud and no one ever has the right to raise an objection based on religious grounds.
Sure there could be some that hide behind religion so they can discriminate, but should we punish those that are acting according to what they believe?
The question we need to ask ourselves is, do we want to set up an economy where religious people can't pursue owning their own business because doing so puts them at a great risk?