Everyone knows the U.S. Supreme Court opinion created a right to same-sex “marriage” in the United States.
But that same opinion also affirmed the constitutional protections afforded people who oppose same-sex marriage for religious reasons.
It acknowledged that many “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.”
The five majority justices recognized the Constitution “contemplates that democracy is the appropriate process for change, so long as that process does not abridge fundamental rights.”
And they affirmed that “fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote.”
The justices said “those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”
“The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.”
The opinion cites the “untold references to the beauty of marriage in religious and philosophical texts spanning time, cultures, and faiths, as well as in art and literature in all their forms,” conceding those references were about the marriage of a man and a woman.
That view, the five lawyers wrote, “long has been held – and continues to be held – in good faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world.”
But Colorado Democrats, who hold the majority in the state House of Representatives, have for the third time killed a legislative proposal that would codify those principles in the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage opinion.
The bill would have banned the state from punishing anyone who believes in traditional marriage and conducts themselves in public life according to that religious belief.
The bill, similar to previous failed plans, would allow Christians in business to decline requests from customers that conflict with their beliefs.
Charlie Craig and David Mullins testified against the bill. They are known for demanding a Christian baker bake them a same-sex wedding cake, even though at the time same-sex marriages were illegal in Colorado. They then complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission about Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop.
It is his case that is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. It centers on whether states can force Christians to violate their faith, a religious right codified in the U.S. Constitution, to protect the feelings of gays and lesbians.
House Bill 1206 died on a 7-4 party line vote in the House Judiciary Committee.
Sponsor Rep. Stephen Humphrey, R-Severance, and supporters said they want to make sure that the homosexual agenda does not violate the fundamental religious rights of Christians.
He described as a “live and let live act.”
“Folks of faith are very concerned for their livelihoods and for their everyday lives. The intent is simply to ensure that tolerance is a two-way street, and I know that’s always going to be a difficult and tricky conversation.”
The measure forbids the state from punishing a religious organization or individual for acting as their faith teaches regarding homosexuality.
It was the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled against against Phillips, who declined to make the cake because it would violate his faith.
WND reported last month the commission now faces defunding in the legislature, where the Senate is held by Republicans, because of its attack on Phillips.
One member of that commission even likened Christians to Nazis.
The issue of funding for the organization currently is tabled.
State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, said, “My argument against approving their funding today is we need to wait and see what the legislature does with the renewal of the law authorizing the commission, which is up for sunset review in this session.”
The commission ordered Phillips and his staff to undergo reindoctrination under the threat of losing his business.
The state commission’s antagonism to Christian beliefs became evident at the outset of the case when commissioner Diann Rice publicly exhibited bias against Phillips during a hearing, comparing him to a Nazi.
“I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing or the last meeting,” Rice said during consideration of Phillips’ case. “Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust, whether it be – I mean, we – we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to – to use their religion to hurt others.”
Hear a recording of Rice’s statement:
The Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending Phillips, also pointed out that the same Colorado commission that punished Phillips exonerated three other “cake artists who refused to express religious messages” with which they disagreed. The rejected messages were all Christian messages.
“Had the commission applied the same rationale to those artists that it applied to Phillips, it would have punished them too. After all, [the law] forbids refusing service because of religious beliefs, and those cake artists admitted that they declined the requests because of the religious beliefs expressed on the cakes,” the organization said in its presentation to the Supreme Court.
In North Carolina, a judge ruled court officials violated the constitutional rights of a magistrate who refused to perform same-sex “marriages,” and they’ve reached a settlement paying her about a third of a million dollars.
A federal judge ruled last year the state courts were “required by law” to accommodate Gayle Myrick’s beliefs, leading to a settlement in January in which the state will provide Myrick back pay, retirement benefits and attorneys fees.
The other victory for traditional and biblical marriage came in California.
WND reported a California judge refused to let the state force a Christian baker to use her artistry to create cakes for same-sex “weddings.”
The result was the opposite of the Colorado commission’s advocacy for same-sex “marriage.”
In the California case resolved this week, Cathy Miller of Tastries Bakery was targeted because she refused to use her artistic talents to promote the “wedding” of two lesbians.
The state asked Superior Court Judge David Lampe to issue a preliminary injunction ordering Miller either to create wedding cakes for same-sex duos or be barred from serving anyone.
But Lampe recognized that the issue is not about discrimination against same-sex couples.
“The state is not petitioning the court to order defendants to sell a cake. The state asks this court to compel Miller to use her talents to design and create a cake she has not yet conceived with the knowledge that her work will be displayed in celebration of a marital union her religion forbids. For this court to force such compliance would do violence to the essentials of Free Speech guaranteed under the First Amendment,” he wrote.