The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Christian baker Jack Phillips today in the highly anticipated case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court acknowledged the state of Colorado discriminated against Phillips for operating his small business in accordance with his religious convictions concerning marriage.
“The Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s consideration of this case was inconsistent with the State’s obligation of religious neutrality. The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in his majority opinion, as Deseret News reported.
Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) argued on behalf of Phillips. In a press release, ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner, who served as lead counsel on behalf of Phillips, said the court made the right decision because “government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society.”
“The court was right to condemn that. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a society like ours. This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack’s beliefs about marriage,” added Waggoner.
Phillips also expressed his thanksgiving for the court’s decision. “It’s hard to believe that the government punished me for operating my business consistent with my beliefs about marriage. That isn’t freedom or tolerance,” shared Phillips. “I’m so thankful to the U.S. Supreme Court for this ruling.”
Phillips’ legal battle started in 2012 after he politely declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Phillips expressed he would happily create any other type of cake for the two gentlemen. But by using his skills to craft their wedding cake, Phillips felt he would be violating his deeply-held religious convictions.
Directly following the Supreme Court’s ruling, some Christian leaders took to social media to express their support and gratitude. Here are their reactions:
This was NOT a hard call for @SCOTUS (7-2). Why was this so hard for Jack Phillip’s brothers/sisters in Christ to stand up for his religion liberty? Perhaps this is a good time for many Christians to answer that question, b/c this is not the last religious liberty case before us. https://t.co/crPj848W92
— Ed Stetzer (@edstetzer) June 4, 2018
— ERLC (@ERLC) June 4, 2018
— Jerry A. Johnson (@DrJerryJohnson) June 4, 2018
Supreme Court rules 7-2! Great victory for free speech and freedom. @AllianceDefends @lifehaspurpose #TheCakehasbeenserved #wegotyourbackjack #lovefreespeech pic.twitter.com/aj1rnKiRa0
— Rev. Derek McCoy (@RevDerekMcCoy) June 4, 2018
“Whatever the confluence of speech and free exercise principles might be in some cases, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s consideration of this case was inconsistent with the State’s obligation of religious neutrality.” #SCOTUS Masterpiece Cakes decision today.
— Albert Mohler (@albertmohler) June 4, 2018
Wow. The Supreme Court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission “showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward… sincere religious beliefs.” This is huge. This is not a bare majority, but a 7-2 majority on #SCOTUS.
— Denny Burk (@DennyBurk) June 4, 2018