Earlier this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic ruling, striking down the State of Colorado’s decision against Jack Phillips. Though Jack served all customers, the State of Colorado punished Jack for declining to participate in a same-sex wedding.
The following is a statement from Citizens for Community Values President Aaron Baer. CCV filed a brief with the Supreme Court in this case. You can read that brief here.
“What a day to be an American! The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a historic decision that will set the tone in the effort to protect religious freedom for generations. This decision sends a clear message that it is unconstitutional to show extreme hostility towards people of faith in the marketplace because of our religious convictions.
This was a victory for true tolerance and diversity. While Americans hold incredibly diverse views on marriage and sexuality, we must be able to live together peaceably.
We should take this day to reset the debate on marriage and religious freedom. Just as the Church needs to ensure our rhetoric on marriage and sexuality is full of grace and love, I hope the LGBT community and allies examine how they talk and act towards people of faith.
Disagreement isn’t disdain, and a Biblical worldview isn’t bigotry. Let’s celebrate this decision today by committing to find ways to live together as neighbors who care about the future of our state and nation.”
More About the Decision
Jack Phillip, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, served all customers including his LGBT neighbors. Jack was before the U.S. Supreme Court simply because he did not want to create a custom cake celebrating a same-sex wedding.
The US Supreme Court found that the Colorado Human Rights Commission treated Jack with incredible hostility. As Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion:
“[The] Commission’s treatment of Phillips’ case, which showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection. As the record shows, some of the commissioners at the Commission’s formal, public hearings endorsed the view that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, disparaged Phillips’ faith as despicable and characterized it as merely rhetorical, and compared his invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust.”
Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court found this hostility unconstitutional in a 7-2 ruling. While the decision was made on narrow grounds, it sets the tone for future cases on this issue.
It’s clear that this is not the final word in the effort to protect religious freedom. For Citizens for Community Values, there is still much work to ensure that Christians and all people of faith cannot be discriminated against because of our sincerely held religious beliefs.