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July 9, 2021 (Family Research Council) – It was a devastating day for Barronelle Stutzman. The florist from Washington State, who's become a symbol of the struggle for religious liberty in America, learned last week that the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear her case, in which she declined to design flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding in accordance with her Christian beliefs.
It was a case that has become all too familiar since the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S. Where are the rights of believing Christians who work in the public square as they are increasingly faced with demands that go against their consciences? So far, the high court has sent very conflicting messages with regards to this fundamental question of religious freedom. In its Obergefell v. Hodges opinion that foisted same-sex marriage on all 50 states, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that “Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.” In a narrowly-worded victory for wedding cake baker Jack Phillips in 2018, the high court gave some amount of meaning to these words.
But with this latest failure to take up what should be a clear-cut case, the Supreme Court is leaving believers out in the cold when it comes to protecting their constitutional right to hold religious views and live out those views in the public square. This latest action is also leaving conservatives wondering how a court with three constitutionalist picks from President Trump and a 6-3 overall conservative majority could drop the ball so badly when it comes to defending the most fundamental and deeply held freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.
“It's a grievous injustice,” said Kristen Waggoner, general counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, on “Washington Watch.” “It's deeply disappointing. And it's honestly hard to wrap your mind around how and why the U.S. Supreme Court didn't give her justice in some way. There were options.”
The Christian baker, Jack Phillips, needs your support as he is again being targeted by LGBT activists, despite the fact that his stand against compelled speech and being forced to bake a "wedding" cake for homosexuals was vindicated by the Supreme Court in 2018.
Now, a gender-confused man, "Autumn" Scardina, has succeeded in getting Mr. Phillips fined $500 by Denver District Court judge, A. Bruce Jones, for refusing to make a cake celebrating the man's attempted "transition."
The LGBT mob just won’t leave this Christian baker make his living in peace!
But, Phillips and his legal counsel say they will appeal this ruling.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which sends moral support and prayers to Mr. Phillips after this latest assault on his right to free speech and not to be forced, in his work, to promote an ideology with which he disagrees.
The fact that the court pursued the complaint by this gender-confused man, after Phillips' right to reject such compelled speech was confirmed by the Supreme Court, is nothing short of targeting by LGBT activists and harassment by the District Court.
In 2018, the Supreme Court overruled an earlier District Court ruling and determined that forcing Phillips to create a homosexual "wedding" cake was a violation of the First Amendment.
But, just before the Supreme Court's ruling, Scardina (the LGBT-activist-plaintiff in this latest miscarriage of justice) demanded that Phillips create a cake celebrating his “transition.” Upon being refused, Scardina sued Phillips.
"The request was for a custom-designed cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside, to reflect and celebrate a gender transition," Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a legal organization protecting religious freedom and Phillips' legal counsel, said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Phillips’ shop declined the request because the customer specifically requested that the cake express messages and celebrate an event in conflict with Phillips’ religious beliefs," ADF continued.
"Jack Phillips serves all people but shouldn’t be forced to create custom cakes with messages that violate his conscience," ADF stated. "The harassment of people like Jack … has been occurring for nearly a decade and must stop."
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which supports Jack Phillips against the latest LGBT efforts to persecute him because of this sincerely held religious beliefs.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Court forces Christian baker to make cakes celebrating a transgender ‘transition’' - www.lifesitenews.com/news/court-forces-christian-baker-to-make-cakes-celebrating-a-transgender-transition
'Jack Phillips back in court over refusal to bake transgender cake' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/jack-phillips-back-in-court-over-refusal-to-bake-transgender-cake
ADF Statement - https://adfmedia.org/case/scardina-v-masterpiece-cakeshop
**Photo Credit: YouTube screen grab
Waggoner, who has represented Stutzman from the very beginning of her legal fight, went on to detail how despite this latest loss, the fight for religious freedom for Stutzman and others like her is far from over.
“It's important to remember that this case is focused on Washington State, and a denial to hear a case by the Supreme Court does not make new law,” she noted. “What it means is that Barronelle is denied justice in Washington, but we have been able to prevail in similar cases in other jurisdictions. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled the opposite of the way that the Washington Supreme Court has done, and they've protected freedom. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has protected freedom, and we expect that a decision will come out of the 10th Circuit in Colorado on a similar issue shortly. So there will be a circuit split, and the [U.S. Supreme] Court will need to address that split as we're seeing the more leftist states essentially make the justice system an arm of cancel culture.”
Waggoner also underscored the crucial importance of what hangs in the balance. “What we know is that the principle that's at stake here protects all Americans,” she said. “It doesn't matter whether you're on the left or the right, Democrat or Republican – the right to be able to express ourselves, to have freedom of speech, the right to be able to live consistent with our convictions is one that all humans should enjoy. And it's not one that the government gives us. It's something that God gives us and it's constitutionally guaranteed.”
So how long can the Supreme Court continue to avoid this fundamental issue? Not for long. “I can guarantee you that this question will continue to come before the U.S. Supreme Court,” Waggoner concluded. “You can't have a pluralistic free republic – a durable nation – if you don't have the fundamental freedom to speak or not speak and the right to practice your faith.”
Published with permission from the Family Research Council.