Atheists and non-believers could soon receive civil rights protections under Portland law
On one hand, I'm surprised that it's not a protected class already. In my mind, not being able to discriminate based on religious affiliation would imply that one couldn't discriminate against unaffiliated people too. It's not like people are forced to believe in some religion.
On the other hand, I dislike the idea of religious protections being extended to groups like Scientology, which clearly abuse the label of "religion" for their own financial benefit. So perhaps a line should be drawn somewhere? This is why I don't make laws.
Presumably the mechanism for this already exists, the only issue is that scientology is classified as a religion in the first place.
I would argue there is a difference between scientology the religion, and scientology the church. Everyone should have the right to believe whatever they want to believe, but the Church of Scientology certainly seems to be more of an organized criminal enterprise than anything else.
This may have been triggered by this lawsuit from last year.
So, what happens when you're an atheist gay couple and you want a wedding cake but your baker claims religious freedom as a reason for not baking you one because you're gay?
It seems like it depends on whether or not non-theism and sexual orientation are protected classes in your location.
I'm not familiar with the laws, so I don't know for sure if someone's religious beliefs has allowed them to discriminate. In it's most basic form, I don't think it would.
The often talked about Colorado cakeshop case (that you alluded to) has been commonly misunderstood from what I've seen. It involves compelled speech, whether cake-making is an art, and other things. The ruling wasn't really about whether you can discriminate against gay people. Rather, "In a 7-2 decision, the Court ruled on narrow grounds that the Commission did not employ religious neutrality, violating Masterpiece owner Jack Phillips' rights to free exercise, and reversed the Commission's decision. The Court did not rule on the broader intersection of anti-discrimination laws, free exercise of religion, and freedom of speech, due to the complications of the Commission's lack of religious neutrality." Moreover, the owner was willing to sell a pre-made cake off the shelf, but refused to create a custom cake for the couple.
If anyone wants to read more about it: https://www.scotusblog.com/2018/06/opinion-analysis-court-rules-narrowly-for-baker-in-same-sex-wedding-cake-case/ & https://www.oyez.org/cases/2017/16-111