Supreme Court's wedding cake case isn't about faith, religious leaders warn

The Supreme Court wrestled with a clash between religious freedom and LGBTQ rights last week when justices heard oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

Ultimately, the court will decide whether Colorado baker Jack Phillips was illegally discriminating against a same-sex couple or just exercising his right to religious freedom when he refused to create a cake for a wedding ceremony he viewed as sacrilegious. 

In a new video, three religious leaders from different backgrounds share their thoughts on the potential long-lasting impact of the case, noting that a victory for Phillips could harm many people of faith. 

RELATED: Supreme Court landmark cases

7 PHOTOS
Supreme Court landmark cases
See Gallery
Supreme Court landmark cases
Demonstrators carrying giant keep abortion legal buttons & ...protect Roe vs. Wade sign during huge pro-choice march. (Photo by Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
1966: Since 1966 police have to advise a suspect that they have the right to remain silent and the right to counsel during interrogation. The so called 'Miranda Warning' after Ernesto Miranda who had a retrial because he was not so advised. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
1963: Petitiion by Clarence Earl Gideon to the Chief Justice of the United States against a sentence imposed by a Florida court because he had not had legal representation. This resulted in the 5th Amendment whereby any individual accused of a crime is guaranteed 'due processes of law'. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
African American students at a segregated school following the supreme court case Plessy vs Ferguson established Separate But Equal, 1896. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) This sketch shows White House Watergate Attorney James St. Claire arguing before the Supreme Court over whether President Nixon could assert executive privilege in withholding evidence demanded by Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworksi in the Watergate cover-up trial. The Justices are (L to R), Chief Justice Warren Burger; William Brennan; Byron White; Henry Blackmun; and at right is the chair normally occupied by William Rehnquist, who withdrew from this case.
Supporters of gay marriage wave the rainbow flag after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry at the Supreme Court in Washington June 26, 2015. The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
(Original Caption) Schenectady, New York: Despite a ruling from Education Commissioner Ewald B. Nyquist that prayer meetings in school are 'constitutionally impermissible,' several Mohonasen High School pupils continue to hold 10 minute prayer session at the school. The school board gave permission for the meetings even though the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled out prayer in public schools. Comm. Nyquist's ruling upset the school board's permission for the meetings, but the students, who pointed out that Congress and the state legislature open with prayers, decided to keep up the practice.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

“Using religious freedom as a partisan talking point really constricts the actual practice of religion and the actual faith lives of people,” the Rev. John Flack of New York’s Our Saviour’s Atonement Lutheran Church says in the clip, which was produced by GLAAD and can be viewed above. 

Hadi Khatib of the Muslim Public Affairs Council expressed a similar view. “If the Supreme Court enshrines into law the proactive right for people to use religious exemption to deny services to somebody based on their sexual orientation, then people will feel emboldened, I think, to start denying services to other people based on a variety of other currently protected classes,” Khatib said. 

Ultimately, the three testimonials show just how “dangerous” the implications of religious-exemption laws, especially when applied to cases like that of Masterpiece Cakeshop, can be, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told HuffPost. 

“As the enemies of equality continue to push a false God vs. LGBTQ narrative, powerful videos like this one are more important than ever to showcase what these laws are really about and how love and acceptance are key religious tenets,” Ellis said.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the case, which has been described as the most important for the queer community since the 2015 ruling on marriage equality, is expected in spring 2018. 

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Read Full Story