Date: June 4, 2018
Colorado Public Radio interviewed TELG managing principal Scott Oswald about the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in favor of a Colorado bakery owner who cited religious reasons for his refusal to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple. Scott said the opinion was so case-specific that it didn't change any laws — but he still feared that over-simplified headlines might embolden bigots.
"I think many institutions ... will think it’s OK to discriminate against individuals based on sexual orientation .... They won’t realize, because they will not have scratched the surface of the opinion, that that’s not in fact what the Supreme Court has said here today."
R. Scott Oswald
From ‘Crushed’ To Celebratory: The Two Sides Of The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case React
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a Christian baker from Lakewood who refused to make cakes for gay weddings sparked immediate reactions from both sides of the case.
Masterpiece owner Jack Phillips was back at his bakery the day of the decision. He declined to comment on the case to reporters waiting outside. He closed up shop early to catch a plane to New York, where he’s scheduled to make media appearances, but not before serving customers and taking selfies with supporters.
George Hefner was one of the many people who came to Masterpiece Cakeshop to congratulate Phillips. For Hefner, the case came down to religious liberty and whether Christians like him can express their views in public.
“The gay community, they’re fine people I’m sure, but this crossed the fine line into someone else’s freedom. It was infringing on Jack’s freedom to believe what he believed,” Hefner said.
To celebrate, he bought a cherry cake from Masterpiece. He requested that on the top, inscribed in red icing, “God Bless America and Masterpiece Cakeshop.”
Not all of Phillips’ supporters were equally enthusiastic about the ruling, including Pastor Gino Geraci of Calvary South Denver, an evangelical church in Littleton. Geraci noted the court made its decision on narrow grounds and didn’t address bigger questions, such as how the law should balance the right to equal service with the right to religious expression.
“So again, we are still left with that thorny line: where does religious freedom end and discrimination begin? I think the lines aren’t as clearly drawn as we first had hoped,” Geraci said.