Christian baker sees ‘outpouring’ of support after Supreme Court win
LAKEWOOD, Colorado, June 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Many in Colorado baker Jack Phillips’ community are just as thrilled as he is over his recent victory at the US Supreme Court, the Christian businessman reveals in a new interview.
On June 4, the court ruled 7-2 that the state of Colorado discriminated against the Masterpiece Cakeshop owner’s religious beliefs while trying to force him to provide a cake for a same-sex “wedding.” Since then, he says his business has tripled.
"We have had so many people coming by to support us as the case has gone on, and there has been an outpouring of love and support since the decision came down,” Phillips told the Christian Post in an interview published Thursday. “The state's targeting of my beliefs cost me 40 percent of my business and forced me from 10 employees down to four. But we're so happy to be busy doing what we do best at our shop.”
The Friday after the ruling, the religious liberty law firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) released a video showing hundreds of patrons gathering outside Masterpiece Cakeshop and lining up to get in to celebrate the victory. The supporters, chanting “Jack is back” and “love free speech,” were so overwhelming that Masterpiece sold out of most of its items by noon.
Phillips says he’s seen “far more support than negativity” from his community, including from people who disagree with him about same-sex “marriage” but recognize that “tolerance is a two-way street.”
Phillips says he does remain the target of some vitriol, however. “Even after we won the case, a group of people showed up at my shop to protest,” he told the Post. “I offered them cookies and told them to stop by anytime.” He says during the case he received harassment, and even some death threats.
Despite the short-term victory, the Masterpiece ruling left advocates on both sides both disappointed and encouraged.
“The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of [Phillips’] case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection” to baking the cake, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion. However, he also stressed that it didn’t set a precedent for “the outcome of some future controversy involving facts similar to these,” which many observers took to mean that coercing business owners might still be upheld, as long as it’s done without derogatory public statements about religion.
Days later, the Arizona Court of Appeals invoked the Masterpiece decision to uphold a Phoenix city ordinance forcing a wedding invitation business operated by two Christian women to serve homosexual unions.
ACLU attorney David Cole, who represented the gay couple suing Phillips, wrote after Kennedy’s decision that his side “lost a battle but won the war,” interpreting the opinion to mean that “Charlie Craig and David Mullins could go right back into Masterpiece Cakeshop today and request a cake to celebrate their wedding anniversary,” starting the battle all over again and potentially
In the meantime, however, Phillips is just pleased to be able to run his business in accordance with his faith.
"We're also eager to start designing custom wedding cakes again," he said. "A cake is a canvas, and I'm really looking forward to creating beautiful art that celebrates such a special day."