WASHINGTON, D.C. – Liberty Counsel, which filed an amicus brief in the free religious exercise case in which the US Supreme Court sided with a Christian baker, says the decision could have an effect on Illinois as a state whose civil rights law mentions "sexual orientation," "gender Identity" and "public accommodation."
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 today in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a historic case that protects the right to free exercise of religion against the LGBT “sexual orientation” law that was being used to force a Christian baker to violate his conscience. The Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated the neutrality required by the First Amendment by making disparaging comments against Jack Phillips’ religious beliefs regarding same-sex “marriage.” Jack Philips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to use his artistic talents and expression to promote a same-sex ceremony.
Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief in this case defending Jack Philips’ right to freedom of expression. Though the Court focused on the explicit hostility exhibited by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in this specific instance, this significant decision will have a wide impact regarding the clash between free speech and the LGBT agenda, including laws that add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Twenty-one states have “public accommodations” laws that include one or both phrases. They include California and six other states in the West, Illinois and three other states in the upper Midwest, and 10 states on the East Coast from Maryland to Maine. No state in the South or on the Great Plains has such a law.
“This is a huge victory for the religious rights private citizens,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “People should not be forced to speak a message that violates their conscience. Just as any person or business should have the right to refuse to promote a KKK event, in the same way no one should be forced to promote a same-sex ceremony that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs. A painter can refuse to paint hate, nudity or the Nazi symbol. A photographer or moviemaker can refuse to film offensive content. A person should be free to refuse to be used as a mouthpiece for an objectionable message. Today’s ruling protects that inalienable right to conscience,” said Staver.