On Monday the Supreme Court released their decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a historic case that stopped a law from being used to force a Christian baker to violate his conscience.
Now that the case is over and the decision is being analyzed, what does this case mean and what doesn’t it mean? Will there be more confrontations against Christians who wish to exercise their religious freedom, beliefs and convictions?
Joining Jim to answer those and other questions was Mat Staver. Mat is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a non-profit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and the family. Mat has over 230 published legal opinions. He’s authored 8 scholarly law review publications and 10 books. He has filed numerous briefs and argued in many federal and state courts including the U.S. Supreme Court and has argued two landmark cases before the Supreme Court: Madsen v. Women’s Health Center and McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky. He’s the host of the radio programs, ‘Faith & Freedom’ and ‘Freedom’s Call’.
This case goes back to 2012 when a same-sex couple came in to Masterpiece Cakeshop. This couple wanted to get married in Massachusetts and then go to Colorado to celebrate a same-sex ceremony. They went to Jack Phillips who uses his artistic talent to create cake designs that have meaning.
In the past, Jack has refused to bake cakes for other offensive things, and in this case he was asked to bake a cake to recognize and celebrate a same-sex ceremony. In addition, he did serve homosexuals on a regular basis. In fact, he told this couple that he would bake cakes of different kinds for events such as birthdays, graduations or other parties.
Mat noted that a wedding cake is something completely different. When you go to a wedding, everyone understands there will be a wedding cake. So if you were to have a wedding cake with two men on it, that would be celebrating a union of two men that is directly contrary to, in this case, Jack’s beliefs, so he refused. Jack even recommended other places where they could possibly have a same-sex wedding cake provided for them.
Eventually Jack received the complaint against him and he took his case up through the various agencies such as the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the state’s courts of appeals and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court where they ruled 7-2 in his favor.
Contrary to what some might write or say, this case is over. Jack Philips has won under the free exercise clause of the Constitution. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission will not be getting another shot at this case because the Supreme Court did not send the case back for further consideration.