Jack Phillips, the Evangelical baker who prevailed at the Supreme Court Monday in a commercial dispute with a gay couple, appeared on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday, casting the decision as a milestone for religious liberty.
Though the decision leaves much unresolved, Phillips hopes to reengage the wedding business in the coming weeks.
“It was a big win for us,” Phillips said. “I got into the bakery business because I love doing wedding cakes, and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission took that away from me. Now hopefully we can get back and do the baking that I love.”
Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom, who was counsel of record for Phillips at the Supreme Court, emphasized that Masterpiece Cakeshop serves all comers, but declines to create custom cakes which endorse specific messages with which it disagrees. (RELATED: Supremes Lift Decision Ordering Trump Administration To Facilitate Abortions For Alien Minors)
“Jack loves and serves anyone who walks in his store, all walks of life, but he has never promoted all messages through his cakes,” she said.
Monday’s decision did not resolve the First Amendment questions at the heart of ongoing legal disputes between religious merchants and LGBT couples hoping to procure their services in connection with wedding ceremonies. Rather, the high court found that in the specific context of this case, Colorado officials serially denigrated Phillips’ religious beliefs, in violation of their obligation to enforce state law in a general and neutral fashion.
The justices are scheduled to consider a related controversy arising from Washington state on Thursday. In that case, state officials secured a judgement in state court against a 72-year-old Christian florist named Barronelle Stutzman who declined to create a custom floral arrangement for a same-sex wedding.
If the justices grant review, the case will likely be heard late this year.
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