A Tennessee store owner has re-posted as sign that reads “No Gays Allowed” in the front window of his shop in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling last week in a case involving a baker who refused to bake a cake for gay couple’s wedding.
The store owner, Jeff Amyx originally put the sign in the window of the Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Grainger County, TN, in 2015, after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. He later removed it following a harsh backlash.
Amyx replaced the sign with a sign that read “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion.”
“I was shocked. I was really shocked because of the track record of our Supreme Court,” Amyx said of the recent decision.
“Christianity is under attack. This is a great win, don’t get me wrong, but this is not the end, this is just the beginning,” Amyx said. “Right now we’re seeing a ray of sunshine. This is ‘happy days’ for Christians all over America, but dark days will come.”
The case involved Jack Phillips, owner and operator of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. A same-sex couple, Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, entered the bakery in 2012 and asked Phillips to bake a cake for their wedding.
Phillips told the couple that he would create birthday cakes, shower cakes or sell them any of the other items he offered in his store but that he would not create cakes for same-sex weddings because it violated his religious beliefs. Phillips is a devout Christian.
Craig and Mullins sued Phillips under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. The Hight Court, in a 7-2 ruling found that the Colorado state commission, the body the case originally went before, failed to rule against Phillips without hostility toward religion or religious viewpoint.
“The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority’s opinion.
Phillips was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group dedicated to protecting religious freedoms. Kristen Waggoner, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at ADF, argued the case before the high court. She praised the ruling.
“Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs. Creative professionals who serve all people should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment,” she wrote in a statement.
“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. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a society like ours. This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack’s beliefs about marriage,” she added.
Photo by Ted Eytan via Flickr