We are thrilled today to learn that the U.S. Supreme Court has sided 7-2 in favor of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who was penalized by the government for declining to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony because it violated his deeply-held religious conviction that marriage is between a man and a woman.
If you aren’t familiar with the details of the case, I encourage you to watch this video. This case is fundamentally about the role of government vs. freedom. Do you believe that we should empower our government to force people, particularly those whose occupations require creative speech, to speak in a way that violates their deeply-held beliefs? This is not an issue of a business owner having to “accommodate” anyone who walks in their door. Jack Phillips did that for any individual who entered his cake-making business – including homosexual people. However, he politely declined a message – in support of so-called same-sex marriage – that violates his conscience, as he had done previously by declining to make cakes celebrating Halloween and in various other instances.
Religious hostility has no place in a pluralistic society like ours. The Court rightly saw religious bigotry and named it as such. Just because it comes from the government, it is still not acceptable to banish Americans from the marketplace because they apply their beliefs – popular or not – in their workplace.
The case of Jack Phillips is illustrative of how governments can inappropriately use nondiscrimination laws to weaponize government against people of faith. While non-discrimination laws based on one’s sexual orientation or gender identity may sound tolerant, they most often result in intolerant applications that punish people of faith who have sincerely-held religious views on marriage and sexuality. The practice of Jack Phillips to serve all customers but decline to celebrate events that violate his beliefs would have never had to be reviewed by the Supreme Court if the state of Colorado did not have a dangerous law to wield against Jack.
The Family Foundation will continue to protect Virginia by preventing the adoption of laws that are used by governments to drive people of faith out of the marketplace simply because they hold an unpopular view of marriage or human sexuality.