Victory Is Sweet for Colorado Baker Jack Phillips

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The road to freedom was a long one for Christian baker Jack Phillips — but the journey may finally be worth it. Back in Colorado after his impressive Supreme Court win, business is booming. After seven justices upheld Jack’s right to exercise his religious liberty in running Masterpiece Cakes, more than 400 people came to the shop to celebrate.

“We have had so many people coming by to support us as the case has gone on,” Jack told the Christian Post, “and there has been an outpouring of love and support since the decision came down. The state’s targeting of my beliefs cost me 40 percent of my business and forced me from 10 employees down to four. But we’re so happy to be busy doing what we do best at our shop.” Sales and orders, Jack says, have tripled since the June opinion. (His attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom even posted a video of the long lines.)

“Since we won, we’ve seen far more support than negativity. Even people who don’t believe what I do about marriage — including many who identify as LGBT — have been so encouraging. Tolerance is a two-way street. If we want freedom for ourselves, we have to extend it to those with whom we disagree. Most people get that.” To the protestors who showed up at the shop earlier this month, Jack was the picture of kindness. “I offered them cookies and told them to stop by anytime.”

More than anything, he can’t wait to start taking custom wedding cake clients again. When his case was working its way through the courts, Jack had to put that side of the business on hold, costing him as much as 40 percent of his income. Now, with the Supreme Court’s blessing, he can get back into the creations that made him want to become a baker in the first place. “People have been praying across the country and around the world,” he explains emotionally, just so he can have that opportunity. “It is just phenomenal. Our God is so good.”

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Unfortunately, not everyone in the wedding industry has gotten the good news they’ve been waiting for. Our friends Aaron and Melissa Klein, who have been battling for the freedom Jack just won, were just informed by the Oregon State Supreme Court that it would not be taking their case. Like Phillips, the Kleins were hauled into court by a same-sex couple who insisted Melissa should be forced to make a custom cake for their wedding, even if it violate her faith. Ultimately, the Kleins faced so many fines and threats that they were forced to close their shop altogether — cutting off the family of seven’s livelihood.

Now, staring down a $135,000 penalty, the Kleins attorneys at First Liberty Institute are hoping to take the fight back to a familiar place: the U.S. Supreme Court. Since the justices refused to broaden their ruling to people like Aaron and Melissa, First Liberty is going to give them the chance to reconsider. “No one in America should be forced by the government to choose between their faith and their livelihood. But that’s exactly what happened to our clients, bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein.” Please be in prayer for them as they fight to provide for their family in a state that refuses to recognize their freedom.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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