NOM BLOG

"The case is submitted"

 


Marriage Supporter — With the above words from Chief Justice John Roberts, the case of Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission is now officially submitted to our nation's highest court.

Yesterday's ninety-minute oral argument was intense and multi-faceted, with the justices sharply questioning attorneys on both sides of the case. Kristin Waggoner of Alliance Defending Freedom did an excellent job presenting the case for Christian baker Jack Phillips, who asserted his constitutional right not to be compelled to participate in conduct — a same-sex 'wedding' ceremony — that violates his deeply held religious beliefs. She was aided by our nation's top government litigator, the Trump Administration's Solicitor General Noel Francisco.

While it is notoriously difficult to predict the outcome of a case based on the oral argument, I am cautiously optimistic for a victory. Justice Anthony Kennedy took the state of Colorado to task for what appeared to be "hostility to religion" by at least two members of the Civil Rights Commission, forcing the lawyer for Colorado to officially disavow their statements. Other justices noted that the Commission seemed to be engaging in viewpoint discrimination, punishing a Christian baker who opposed being involved in a same-sex wedding, but ruling in favor of lesbian bakers who refused to create a cake ordered by a Christian that expressed opposition to gay 'marriage.' Several justices probed whether there was a way to create a narrow exception from public accommodations laws based on religious beliefs that would allow them to rule in favor of Jack Phillips, without creating a broad exception that would significantly undermine those laws.

For whatever it is worth, many in the LGBT community did not think the argument went well for their side. The liberal publication ThinkProgress proclaimed, "LGBTQ rights just had a horrible day in the Supreme Court" and predicted that there are almost certainly at least five votes for Jack Phillips in the case. "There's no way to sugarcoat it," they said.

We will have to wait for a ruling, which likely won't come until next June. Whether we win or lose, however, NOM will remain hard at work to fight for the rights of people of faith to live out their beliefs about marriage at work and in their daily lives.

Our plan includes:

  • Urging President Trump to issue an Executive Order making formal the directive of Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the government must fully protect the religious liberty of all Americans;

  • Urging Congress to introduce and pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) to protect people of faith from governmental discrimination; and,

  • Working with states to pass religious freedom laws like the law in Mississippi that protects the rights of people of faith.

We're in the final weeks of our year-end matching gift campaign where a generous donor has agreed to match every gift we receive up to a total of $250,000. Please remember us in your year-end giving by making a generous donation knowing that it will double in effectiveness thanks to this matching campaign.

Win or lose in the Supreme Court, we've got a lot of hard work ahead, and we're counting on your help to be successful. But yesterday was a good day for us, one that I pray will be fruitful for Jack Phillips, and for countless others who wish only to live their lives according to their faith, and uphold the truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Please help us keep fighting for them by making a generous financial contribution.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

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