On Monday, the United States Supreme Court issued an order vacating a lower court ruling against a Christian couple who were punished for refusing to make a gay wedding cake.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, a Christian couple from Oregon who lost their bakery and were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to make the same-sex wedding cake in 2013, will again argue their case before the Court of Appeals of Oregon.
The high court cited Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the justices ruled 7-2 that Colorado displayed an unconstitutional anti-religious animus toward Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop when it punished him for refusing to make a cake celebrating a gay wedding.
News of the Monday order on behalf of the Klein family garnered various reactions from conservatives and conservative Christian groups. Here are four responses to the order.
First Liberty Institute
The First Liberty Institute, a conservative law firm that helped to represent the Klein family, celebrated the news of the order.
First Liberty President Kelley Shackelford said in a statement released Monday that the vacating of the lower court ruling was “a victory for Aaron and Melissa Klein and for religious liberty for all Americans.”
“The Constitution protects speech, popular or not, from condemnation by the government. The message from the Court is clear, government hostility toward religious Americans will not be tolerated,” stated Shackelford.
Family Research Council
The conservative advocacy group the Family Research Council supported the order, labeling it “the next best thing” when compared to a possible United States Supreme Court ruling in their favor.
“Of course, the activist judges trying to wipe out the Kleins’ lifesavings could also come back with the same result — but for now, the Supreme Court’s move puts the family’s $135,000 fine on hold,” stated the FRC.
“It also gives Oregon a chance to reconsider its vicious attack against freedom and spare state officials the ultimate embarrassment of being overturned by the Supreme Court in the next couple of years. At the very least, it’s a hopeful sign that the justices see the Masterpiece case as a guidepost for deciding these important suits.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski