The Colorado baker who declined to customize a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is excited to get back to making cakes again following the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in his favor on Monday.
“I got into the bakery business, one of the main reasons is because I love doing wedding cakes. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission took that away from me and now hopefully we can get back and do the baking that I love,” Jack Phillips, the Christian owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, told Fox News on Tuesday morning.
“It was a big win for us and now we’re just looking forward to hopefully getting back into the wedding business, and we’ll see how the court ruling affects that,” he added.
Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop: “I got into the bakery business, one of the main reasons is because I love doing wedding cakes. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission took that away from me and now hopefully we can get back and do the baking that I love.” pic.twitter.com/4phnpbt02q
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 5, 2018
Phillips stopped baking wedding cakes altogether after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled he had violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws by declining to make one for a same-sex couple’s wedding in 2012.
That decision resulted in the baker losing 40 percent of his business and having to cut his employee staff in half, according to his attorney Kristen Waggoner with the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Phillips explained to FNC his faith prevented him from using his artistic talents in good conscience to create a customized cake for the occasion.
“I told (the couple) when they came in that day, I’ll sell you birthday cakes, cookies, brownies, I’ll make you custom cakes. … I just can’t do this cake because of the message it promotes,” he stated.
Phillips recounted that he turns down other business that conveys messages which he does not agree with on religious or other grounds.
“I don’t do cakes for Halloween,” he said. “I wouldn’t make cakes that would be anti-American or that would disparage people in any way, including people who identify as LGBT.”
Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop: “I don’t do cakes for Halloween, I wouldn’t make cakes that would be anti-American or that would disparage people in any way, including people who identify as LGBT.” https://t.co/c0TyTMS5jl pic.twitter.com/J2802yWPZX
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 5, 2018
Waggoner was pleased with the religious freedom aspect of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“It said that the government cannot express religious hostility and that there’s no place for that kind of hostility in a pluralistic society,” she said.
In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that Colorado had been “neither tolerant nor respectful” of Phillips’ beliefs about marriage.
He added that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed “clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection.”
Ryan T. Anderson, a public policy expert with the Heritage Foundation, lauded Monday’s decision, writing, “Phillips didn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation when he refused to design and bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. He didn’t take his customer’s sexual orientation into consideration at all.”
Anderson continued, “He declined to use his artistic abilities to create a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding because he objected to same-sex marriage, based on the common Christian belief that such partnerships … aren’t marital.”
Court watchers were quick to point out that Monday’s decision leaves open legal questions regarding the boundaries of religious liberty claims as justices seek to balance the rights to freedom of expression and religion, which are expressly protected in the Constitution’s First Amendment, with the recently recognized right of same-sex couples to marry.
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