The owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, whose case involving his denial to make a cake for a gay couple was taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday after being declined almost a dozen times, says the lower court's decision, which will now be argued in front of the nation's highest court, has caused him to lose business and that he's received threats.
Phillips runs his cake business guided by religious principles, closing on Sunday and refusing to make cakes containing alcohol or celebrating Halloween.
Representing the couple is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
But as the U.S. Supreme Court reinforced in the Arkansas case Monday, marriage rights extend well beyond the ability to say, "I do". Phillips said that serving the couple would violate his religious faith.
The Supreme Court has set up a battle between the rights of LGBTQ Americans and proponents of "religious freedom".
In the current case, two men filed a complaint against Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver after he refused to make a cake for their wedding reception. Monday the Supreme Court made a decision to hear a case that may test these limits - Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
The court first heard arguments over the pivotal case in November amid a crackdown on illegal immigration by president Barack Obama's government.
"Same-sex parents in Arkansas lack the same right as opposite-sex parents to be listed on a child's birth certificate", the U.S. Supreme Court concluded.
Craig, Mullins and the state of Colorado argued that Masterpiece Cakeshop is a public accommodation and can not discriminate among its customers. Phillips has said that if he were required to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple it would constitute coerced speech.
People leave the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017.
Durso said that allowing businesses to deny services to gay couples for religious reasons was a "slippery slope" and warned that it could lead to discrimination against LGBT employees.
The justices say Tuesday they will review a lower court ruling against the state, which is hoping to capture some of the estimated $150 billion that is illegally wagered on sports each year. She offered examples of the high court protecting persecuted groups from religiously motivated discrimination in the past, such as when it rejected private, religious schools' efforts to stop black students from enrolling. They include California and six other states in the West, Illinois and three other states in the upper Midwest, and 10 states on the East Coast from Maryland to Maine. "A Kentucky appeals court recently upheld a printer's right to refuse to print shirts promoting a gay pride festival, reasoning that his actions did not discriminate against any individuals due to their sexual orientation".
Two years ago, the justices turned down a similar appeal from a wedding photographer in New Mexico.