“Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued before the high court on behalf of Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop. “Creative professionals who serve all people should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment.”
“Government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society, yet the state of Colorado was openly antagonistic toward Jack’s religious beliefs about marriage,” Waggoner added. “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.”
On behalf of the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that “the record here demonstrates that the Commission’s consideration of Phillips’ case was neither tolerant nor respectful of his religious beliefs.”
The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court after the Colorado Supreme Court declined to review a Colorado Court of Appeals ruling in the case. That ruling affirmed a Colorado Civil Rights Commission decision from May 2014 that ordered Phillips to design custom wedding cakes celebrating same-sex marriages if he creates other wedding cakes.
“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,” said Phillips. “I’m so thankful to the U.S. Supreme Court for this ruling.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.