Christian bakers free to live out faith in MS

Monday, June 26, 2017
Charlie Butts, Billy Davis (

Jack Phillips wedding cake topperA federal appeals court has ruled the State of Mississippi can enact a religious freedom law that protects people of faith in the Magnolia State.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals announced June 22 that it was overturning a lower-court decision a year earlier that stopped the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act.

HB 1523 was signed into law April 2016 by Gov. Phil Bryant but was challenged in the courts by homosexual activists. Last week's ruling found that those activists lacked legal standing because the new law had not harmed them.

"The court determined," says attorney Kevin Theriot of Alliance Defending Freedom, "that the plaintiffs in this situation weren't even harmed enough to be able even to get into court, much less to win on the merits of the case."


Both defenders and critics of the Government Discrimination Act agreed that it creates new legal rights for wedding-related services, such as bakeries and floral shops, that have been sued by homosexuals under the guise of anti-discrimination ordinances or state laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court, meanwhile, announced June 26 that it will hear the case of a Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, who refused to create a wedding bake for a same-sex couple who later sued him for discrimination.

Phillips (pictured below) has said he sells bakery products to homosexuals at his Masterpiece Cake Shop in Denver but refuses to use his artistic talents for a same-sex wedding ceremony.

"It was the event I'm being forced to celebrate," he said. "I also don't make cakes for bachelor parties. I don't make Halloween cakes or anything with witchcraft or demons." 

Most of the lawsuits have favored the homosexual plaintiffs in the appeals process, making the Mississippi ruling a rare exception - and making the state an enemy of homosexual activists and their left-wing allies.

"This law is discriminatory,” declared an attorney for the left-wing Misssippi Center for Justice, “and we will do everything we can to prevent it from causing any more harm.”  

Jack Phillips (Colo. baker)The Mississippi law also protects county clerks who refuse to sign same-sex marriage licenses; allows religious organizations to discriminate against homosexuals in job-hiring; and protects religious-based adoption agencies who refuse to place children in a same-sex household, The New York Times unhappily reported last week.

Citing a legal analysis from Columbia University sprinkled with "potential" effects of the Mississippi law, the story also claimed Christian universities can fire single mothers, among other questionable claims.

"We applaud this decision," says William Perkins, editor of The Baptist Record newspaper, "because it does speak to the biblical definition of marriage and the fact that Baptists, as well as other Christians, should not be forced to practice any other way except having marriage between a man and a woman."

"This is what this entire law said from the very beginning," Gov. Bryant told American Family Radio last week. That a local or political subdivision could not say We're going to punish you if you don't follow the rules that we establish regarding your own business and ignoring your deeply held religious beliefs."

The plaintiffs in the case can request a hearing before the entire 5th Circuit or, like the Jack Phillips case, appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.


We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details




What do you think of some Democrats' proposal to do away with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)?





French police suicide rate climbs, French govt is flummoxed
Islamic State claims bombing at Kabul wedding that killed 63
Leaked UK memos warn of food, drug shortages in Brexit chaos
Arrests and shields, metal poles seized at Portland protests
New York City subway scare suspect taken into police custody
Hong Kong’s divide: 1 protest for democracy, 1 for China
Signs of recession worry Trump ahead of 2020


Rep. Dan Crenshaw rips Antifa demonstrators, blasts Portland protests as ‘sad showing’
Tens of thousands flood Hong Kong park for latest rally
Colorblind firefighter had one wish, to see the American Flag, and his fellow heroes made it happen
Leaked transcripts reveal how NY Times leadership plans to craft Trump-racism narrative
Suspect accused of shooting 6 Philadelphia cops during standoff charged with attempted murder


Cartoon of the Day
Rainbow flag OK, but national motto crosses the line

Houston police cruiser with rainbow decalsGovernment agencies, including police departments, have raised a question during "gay pride" month that a constitutional attorney suggests ought to be answered.