The United States is going through a period where civil rights for people are being challenged at every turn and sometimes those in opposition to those rights are successful. Take a look at Masterpiece cake shop in Lakewood, Colorado where a baker named Jack Phillips refused to provide services for a gay couple seeking a wedding cake for their wedding. Through my interviews with Jack himself and others pertaining to the topic you can see that the views on if someone can deny services based on the premise of sexual orientation, gender, and a person's religious beliefs are split. Some people believe that you should be able to deny anyone service based on the first amendment claims of free speech and free exercise of religion yet the opposition says that you should not due to this being discrimination in which Colorado has laws that prohibit this kind of discrimination.
Through many interviews and discussions with people directly related to this issue you can see a direct split in views and opinions on even their own rights. The first person interviewed was Jack himself by me in May before the case was decided by the Supreme Court, I asked several questions directed at his beliefs and opinions. Asking Jack in one the questions “Are you homophobic?” and him replying “I am not homophobic, I have several gay friends that I am close to and everyone is welcome into my shop regardless of who they are.” (INTERVIEW 1), when hearing this you can see that Jack thinks just because he associates himself with people who are gay doesn’t make him homophobic and justifies his beliefs and actions in relation to this case. Another question asked was “Why didn’t you just make the cake?” his reply was “Because it was in direct conflict with my beliefs and I could not consciously make a cake for something I do not believe in.” (INTERVIEW 1), this was a consistent reply that he had throughout the case he even talked on shows such as The View, CBN news, ABC news, EWTN, and even Fox New. Jack truly believes that making a cake goes directly against his beliefs and feels that he should not be forced to make any cakes that he does not agree with and denies being homophobic.
When Jack denied being homophobic I wanted to get a better understanding of the man, so I decided to interview someone that knew him very well. After looking around the area and contacting several people I interview a guy that was close friends with him for over 10 years named Mark Mead who was an Attorney for 15 plus years and helped consult Jack on the case. I decided to ask Mark a few questions related to Jack’s character and beliefs. I asked Mark “Would you say Jack is not homophobic?” and he replied “Jack is one of the most homophobic people I know, he does not support nor like gays.” , and another question saying “What do you think of Jack as a person” and he replied “Jack is a great man, but does not agree with homosexuality in any form and his beliefs are strong on that.” after hearing Mark say that my perspective on Jack changed, and not only for the reason that Mark said he was homophobic, but because Jack was using his rights against another person's rights.
Finally, my last person interviewed was a random person with some knowledge on the case, and wanted to give their view point on the two sides. Her name is Rachel, and knows a bit about the case, yet I choose to interview her due to her moderate stances on things. I asked Rachel several questions that centered around her opinions on the case and the first question I asked was “What do you think about the case?” and she replied “The baker has his rights and so does the gay couple, so it’s very hard to draw a line between the who is right or wrong because it’s not as clear as it should be.”, another question I asked was “how do you think this will affect future cases pertaining this same issue?” she replied “I feel like it will have an impact, but we will have to see what happens.”. As you can see the tone around the case is that nobody really knows how people will draw that fine line from denying services to people, and in that case will lead to discrimination on a level not seen since before the civil rights movement era.
The couple that was involved took the case to the civil rights commission and then the Supreme court of Colorado decided with the couple, yet Jack thought it was not a fair decision so he ended up taking it up the the highest land of the court and they decided 7-2 on the case citing that the commission was hostile to Jack’s religious beliefs. The couple said this in an interview with The Denver Post that “they would gladly go through the ordeal again and urged others to take up their fight for civil rights. (They also said they have no hard feelings toward Jack Phillips — “This has always been about a policy and not about a person.” (https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/04/charlie-craig-david-mullins-whats-next/), the couple have also appeared on many talk shows and have given their view on the matter, yet the court decided to go with the Baker still.