— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) June 4, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Colorado baker Jack Phillips, saying he is free to express his artistic creativity in a manner that does not violate his religious beliefs.
Phillips, a skilled pastry chef, celebrated the court’s decision with customers at his Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo. on Monday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, the USA Today newspaper published his lengthy response to the court’s decision.
The opinion piece detailed Phillip’s 6-year fight to protect his religious rights.
“As a cake artist who owns my own shop, I have always been willing to serve everyone who walks through my doors. But that doesn’t mean that I create every cake requested of me,” he wrote.
“If asked to design a cake that celebrates an event or expresses a message in conflict with my faith, I’m obliged as a matter of conscience to decline. But I still offer those customers anything else in my shop and tell them that I’d gladly create them a cake for a different occasion.”
Phillips said his faith was tested in July 2012 when a gay couple — longtime customers of his — walked into his shop and ordered a custom wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex wedding.
Same-sex weddings conflict with the Christian faith, so Phillips declined to make the cake.
“But even though I offered to design the couple a cake for another event, they filed a lawsuit against me,” Phillips wrote.
“I pour my heart into my wedding cakes, and … my conscience will not allow me to celebrate something in direct conflict with my faith.”
Following the court’s decision on Monday, dozens of disappointed LGBT allies flocked to Yelp.com to post negative reviews for Masterpiece Cakeshop. The protest prompted Yelp to issue an “Active Cleanup Alert” to remove the negative reviews.
After the cleanup, Yelp posted a message on the cakeshop’s Yelp page that stated:
“While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to these news events, we do work to remove both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business.”
Phillips’ longtime customers were overjoyed at the SCOTUS decision.
Customer George Hefner posed for the press after buying a cake from Phillips, saying: “The gay community, they are fine people, I am sure, but this crossed like into someone else’s freedom, Jack’s freedom, to believe what he believes.”
George Hefner bought a cake to celebrate the #Masterpiece decision.
"The gay community, they are fine people, I am sure, but this crossed like into someone else's freedom, Jack's freedom, to believe what he believes. pic.twitter.com/DNylQT6tGe
— Sam Brasch (@samuelbrasch) June 4, 2018