Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Please note that, in my opinion, Congress did not make a law that created this challenge before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, misinterpreting the Fourteenth Amendment, created the mess.
That said, can states, consistent with the First Amendment, force citizens like Jack Phillips to express support for same-sex marriage through their artistic products? This is a question now for the Supreme Court to sort out since they started all this. It is one of the most important issues it will face this year. May God give the justices wisdom and insight. This one is of direct interest to all people of faith.
Of course, it didn’t have to end up there. Colorado could have been reasonable in their approach to the issue. They choose not to. Does Jack discriminate about gays and homosexuals? No, he did and currently continues to sell them bakery products. Seems like he passes the “I don’t discriminate” test. Disagreement is not discrimination. Our constitution gives all the right to disagree. It is called the First Amendment.
Colorado claims that the Court held “opposition to same-sex marriage” to be “tantamount to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.” In fact, as Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out during the Masterpiece oral arguments, the Court in Obergefell noted that belief in marriage as the union of husband and wife is held “in good faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world.” The Court stated in its majority opinion that “many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.”
A big part of the problem is that sexual-orientation anti-discrimination laws are now being used to “punish the wicked,” in the words of Tim Gill, their biggest financial backer (to the tune of $500 million). But anti-discrimination policies should serve as shields, not swords.
This struck me as amazing. During oral arguments, Chief Justice Roberts asked the solicitor general of Colorado how the state would apply its anti-discrimination law to a pro bono Catholic legal organization for the poor that served all comers but couldn’t do legal work for same-sex couples that they would provide for husbands and wives: “So Catholic Legal Services would be put to the choice of either not providing any pro bono legal services or providing those services in connection with the same-sex marriage?” The solicitor general replied: “I think the answer is yes, your honor.”
Hopefully this will end well for all people of faith, including Christians, Jews and Muslims. We all believe, on religious grounds, that God establishes marriage between men and women.