August 2018 – On June 4, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips (photo above), who has been entrenched in a five-year legal battle after refusing to use his artistic abilities to create a same-sex wedding cake. Though it was a surprising landslide decision in terms of numbers, seven out of nine voting in Phillips’s favor, the ruling was narrow in its scope.
The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and chastised the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for treating Phillips with hostility, and that was the singular focus of the court’s ruling. It could have brought resolution to the broader issue of rights of conscience for all service providers (florists, caterers, etc.) whose clients demand they participate in same-sex marriage events. But the court’s decision fell short of that.
Unfortunately, the broader issue remains unresolved. However, religious freedom proponents hope more such cases will reach the high court soon.