Some see echoes of ’68 court case in wedding cake dispute

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By MARK SHERMAN

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Tuesday’s Supreme Court argument about a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple makes some civil rights lawyers think of South Carolina’s Piggie Park barbecue.

The Piggie Park drive-in in Columbia, South Carolina, wouldn’t serve two African-American customers in August 1964. The waitress who came out to serve them turned back once she saw they were black.

In the civil rights lawsuit that followed, Piggie Park owner Maurice Bessinger justified the refusal to serve black customers based on his religious belief opposing “any integration of the races whatsoever.”

Federal judges had little trouble dismissing Bessinger’s claim.

Civil rights lawyers are pointing the Supreme Court to Bessinger’s case in support of the gay couple who were turned away by Colorado baker Jack Phillips.

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