A “No Gays Allowed” sign that was placed in the window of a Tennessee hardware store in 2015 reignited debate online in light of the Supreme Court’s Monday ruling in favor of a Colorado baker’s religious liberty claims.
Jeff Amyx, owner of Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Grainger County, Tennessee posted a “No Gays Allowed” sign in the front window of his store during the summer of 2015 following the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, but then took it down amid public outcry, as was reported by USA Today at the time.
The story was recirculated in order to further the false claim that acknowledging the religious freedom of Christians will yield homosexuals being banned from public accommodations, which the decision in Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not do. The plaintiff in the case, Jack Phillips, always served gay customers but had declined in 2012 to do a custom cake for a same-sex ceremony, citing his religious objections.
Associate Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the majority opinion, noted in the ruling that the state of Colorado had treated Phillips with gratuitous hostility and had disparaged his faith. Kennedy dismissed the idea that Phillips had essentially placed a “No Gays Allowed” sign in his store window; the justice explained that Colorado had other options as to how they could have responded given the circumstances and that any decision in favor of Phillips “would have to be sufficiently constrained, lest all purveyors of goods and services who object to gay marriages for moral and religious reasons in effect be allowed to put up signs saying ‘no goods or services will be sold if they will be used for gay marriages,’ something that would impose a serious stigma on gay persons.”
USA Today noted last week that claims suggesting that the 2015 story was a reaction to last week’s ruling was inaccurate.
Nevertheless, many prominent Christians were quick to distance themselves from the Tennessee hardware shop owner’s antics from three years ago.
Eric Metaxas, author and host of the Eric Metaxas Show, was incredulous, tweeting that “[e]very Jesus follower I know utterly condemns the unChristian behavior of this foolish man.”
“Don’t be fooled, folks. Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakes wants NOTHING to do with this genuine bigotry and we must all know the difference between this and the free exercise of our faith.”
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Source: Christian Post