It’s not about Discrimination, it’s about Freedom of Religion

This morning the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Equal rights and freedom of speech/religion can and should co-exist in our country and all are protected by the Constitution. However, in recent years, there has been an attempt to protect the former while infringing on the rights of the latter.

Unlike other businesses aiming to levy blanket discrimination, Jack Phillips serves everyone in his cake-shop regardless of who they are or who they love, including pre-made cakes for any event. Phillips simply asked that he not be forced by the government to use his artistic talents to design custom cakes that express beliefs that violate his sincerely-held religious views. That’s a crucial distinction. This is a very narrow request for freedom of speech and religious liberty.

Today’s case is not about discrimination — it’s about whether or not the government should be able to compel artists to create things that clash with their faith.

Although Phillips asked for a very narrow exception, Colorado ordered him to create the custom cake against his conscience. To honor his beliefs, he stopped designing all custom cakes and workers lost jobs since that was 40% of his small business. Yet Colorado’s public accommodation law has not been neutrally applied in all circumstances, instead, it is forcing compliance for specific ideological issues.

The outcome of Phillip’s case before the Supreme Court will have wide-ranging impact. America needs to preserve our tradition that allows people of good faith to disagree and find ways for all of our constitutional rights to remain protected.