The decision is very interesting reading.
(I’m not a lawyer, but I recently enjoyed watching my favorite episode of The Paper Chase, “Moot Court”. I remember thinking that that’s what college will be like.)
The state’s decision was overturned because the baker did not receive “neutral and respectful consideration” in his case; the dissenting opinion says this is not a compelling basis for reversal. In other words, because of how the case was handled by state officials, not based on the merits.
The bit about whether decorating a cake is protected speech doesn’t figure into it, although a concurring opinion prefers to restate that aspect with emphasis. Also, it doesn’t matter whether his actions were protected under Colorado law as it existed back then, before marriage was universal.
Otherwise, the law about equal access to public accommodations is pretty straightforward.
The baker is taken to be “an expert baker and devout Christian.” I don’t know why it matters that he was devout. What if he was actually an inexpert Christian who hadn’t read scripture? A sinner and a schlump?
I also don’t know why it matters that he was a good and not indifferent baker. People engage in expressive arts of all forms and at all levels. Speech doesn’t lose its protected status went it turns trite. There are laws governing hate speech but not trite speech.
I learn something every Sunday I manage to get myself to church, though the acoustics make it difficult to hear the sermon from the choir, even when the pastor is literally preaching to us. I show up with my inadequate faith and partial knowledge.
I also learn something from the Scala community whenever I drop in. And as at church, I try to keep up with my tithing and give back in the limited ways I am able.
Open source is a really crazy idea, the way an open society is also a crazy idea that couldn’t possibly work. I get to listen to interesting ideas that go over my head without paying tuition for the privilege; and I am exposed to people who think differently from me, all the better for them; I enjoy watching their bold experiments and brave failures.
Although the Supreme Court decision is narrow and technical, and doesn’t say what you represent it saying, it serves as a useful moment to reflect on how fundamental the openness of Open Source is to what may seem like merely narrow and technical efforts in software.
I don’t see this fundraiser or the Scala Bridge project as somehow ancillary to Scala, but as expressive of it.