(Image courtesy Pixabay)

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

It’s not just the Jack Phillips case out of Colorado.

He’s the Christian baker who was punished by his state for declining to create a wedding cake for a same-sex duo and eventually won at the U.S. Supreme Court, which cited Colorado’s “hostility” to Christianity.

It’s not just Barronelle Stutzman, the florist in Washington state threatened with personal bankruptcy.

There have been at least 15 cases – based on the 2015 Obergefell decision by the U.S. Supreme that established a right to same-sex marriage – in which Christians have been prosecuted for running their wedding-related businesses according to the principles of their faith.

And the cases continue despite the majority opinion in Obergefell stating: “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.”

The Family Research Council has released a new report on the cases brought against Christians for their faith titled “Religious Liberty and the ‘Wedding Vendor’ Cases.

The report points out Colorado’s anti-Christian bias exhibited itself again when officials charged that Phillips “discriminated” against transgendered people.

The report also mentions Melissa and Aaron Klein, bakers from Oregon who are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court after state officials publicly berated them and ordered “rehabilitation” for an offense similar to Jack Phillips’.

It was then-Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy who wrote the Obergefell opinion advocating the protection of Christian beliefs even as he voted to undermine them by creating same-sex marriage.

Explained FRC: “It is important that the Supreme Court recognized the sincerity of the orthodox belief that marriage is a sacred institution only available between one man and one woman. But by making marriage between two people of the same sex a constitutional right, Obergefell made it easier for courts and legislatures around the nation to conclude that same-sex couples have rights that somehow trump those of all who disagree – and thus violate their consciences.”

In many cases, damages were awarded to people who complained of being offended because Christians refused to promote their anti-Christian agenda.

“We have seen this primarily in the wedding vendor industry,” FRC said. ” … Business owners across the country have had to face the unacceptable choice of violating their religious beliefs or losing their livelihoods – all because they will not use their skills to affirm or facilitate the celebration of a same-sex wedding.”

The defendants have endured “thousands of hours of litigation and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for sticking to their beliefs in natural marriage.”

Among the cases:

  • Lorie Smith, who creates wedding websites and is threatened by a Colorado law that demands she promote same-sex weddings;
  • Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, threatened by a Phoenix ordinance requiring them to use their calligraphy talents to promote same-sex weddings;
  • And Cathy Miller, a baker, under threat by a non-discrimination standard in California.

The full report is linked here.

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