'Jesus would have baked that cake': Local church slams Colorado baker for refusing to bake gay couple's wedding cake
The case became a cultural flashpoint in the United States, underscoring the tensions between gay rights proponents and conservative Christians
A church in Denver slammed the Colorado baker Jack Phillips who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple citing his religious reservations by posting a poignant sign, which said: "Jesus would have baked that cake."
The South Broadway Christian Church posted the message 'Jesus would have baked that cake' along with a sign offering the times for Sunday worship. The message also appeared to be a subtle dig at the Supreme Court's decision, which ruled in favor of the baker.
Pastor Dustin Adkins, who posted the message, said: "Jesus worked with folks on the periphery of society, mistreated and marginalized," according to KUSA. "Those folks are the ones he welcomes the most," he added.
Jack Phillips, in 2012, had refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple — David Mullins and Charlie Craig. The couple eventually filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The Commission ruled in favor of the couple and said that the baker had violated the state's anti-discrimination law. The law reportedly prohibits businesses from discriminating against their customers on the basis of their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.
The ruling, however, was overturned by the Supreme Court on Monday as the justices voted 7-2, stating that the Commission had violated Phillips' First Amendment right to exercise his religion.
The majority opinion stated: "The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views, in some instances protected forms of expression."
The Supreme Court's ruling also slammed the comments made during the Colorado commission's hearing which denigrated Phillips' faith and remarked that the baker citing his religion as grounds to discrimination was similar to past instances when religious freedom was used to justify discrimination like slavery and the Holocaust, according to reports.
"This sentiment is inappropriate for a commission charged with the solemn responsibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law — a law that protects discrimination on the basis of religion as well as sexual orientation,” Justice Kennedy who signed the Supreme Court decision said during the ruling.
The decision was hailed as a victory for conservative Christians across the country.
Phillips' lawyer Kristen Waggoner, who is an attorney at conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom, said: "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. The court was right to condemn that."
The Campaign for Southern Equality, a civil rights advocacy group, said that the court did not rule that there is a right for people to discriminate and added that the ruling does not apply to businesses in other states. The group also added that neither did the Supreme Court's decision invalidate anti-discrimination laws which protect the LGBTQ across the country.
The group's executive director, Rev Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, in a statement said: "Here in the South, we see daily evidence of the growing support for LGBTQ equality, even as we continue to face discriminatory laws. We will continue to fight for full equality — and nothing less."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represented the gay couple said that the court's ruling affirms that businesses cannot discriminate.