The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will soon issue its ruling on the Masterpiece Cakeshop lawsuit, and justices will decide a very fundamental question.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Jim Campbell, whose legal firm is representing baker Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, anticipates a very important ruling coming from the nation's capital in near future.
"Yes, the case raises issues regarding free speech and artistic impression – and other artistic expression and other First Amendment questions," Campbell pointed out. "But at the heart of the case is whether Jack Phillips and others who believe that marriage is the union of man and a woman can continue to live their lives and have a place in society, or – on the other hand – is the Supreme Court going to issue a ruling that essentially tells those people that there isn't place for them in public life ... that they either need to hide their beliefs when they're participating in public life, or that they need to ignore those beliefs when they're participating in public life?
ADF remains hopeful that the Supreme Court will make it very clear that people like Jack Phillips – who affirm marriage is the union of a man and a woman – are equal to those who believe in same-sex “marriage.”
"[I hope] that all of them will have a place to live and work – consistent with their religious beliefs," Campbell stressed.
Oral argument was held before the Supreme Court in December 2017, and a ruling is expected in June.
"The facts of the case are pretty simple," Campbell noted. "The gentlemen came in and said they wanted him to create a cake for their wedding. He said, 'I'm sorry, I can't do that, but I'll sell you anything else in the shop, or I'll make a cake for you for a different event.' That's essentially what happened, [but] the gentlemen left his shop and eventually filed a lawsuit against him … so he were are today."
David Mullins and Charlie Craig are the men who approached Philips about designing a cake. They filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, contending that the bakery violated Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Ordinance.
Other bakers, artists and photographers across the United States are challenging anti-discrimination ordinances and rulings against their businesses.
The Christian attorney explained how a ruling in this Masterpiece case will most likely impact the other situations.
"It remains to be seen how broadly the [Supreme] Court rules, but I do think that's correct – that those cases will have to be completed, and if the Court rules very narrowly against Jack, then I think those cases remain to be decided," Campbell argued. "If, however, the Court decides the case very broadly – one way or the other – that outcome might dictate the final decision in those other cases, as well."