After being prosecuted and ordered to undergo re-education for living out his belief that marriage is husband and wife, Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips had a big win overnight in the US Supreme Court.
The 7-2 decision is a victory for common sense.
This is now a challenge to the Turnbull Government, the Greens and Labor who have all indicated that wedding service providers must be punished for living out the belief that marriage is husband and wife.
Jack Phillips is not ‘anti-gay’ and is happy to sell cakes to gay people. He just happens to believe marriage is husband and wife and wants to be free to stay true to that belief in the way he operates his family business.
The challenge now for the Turnbull Government in the wake of the Ruddock inquiry into religious freedom will be to make sure activists don’t drag Australians through our courts because of their belief about marriage.
During last year’s marriage campaign, the Yes side constantly rubbished concerns about freedom of speech and religion.
This meant Australians expected that there would be “no consequences” for anyone with a dissenting belief.
Turnbull Government members, the Greens and Labor did a good job at consequence-denying during the marriage campaign.
Australians, of course, are tolerant and want to live-and-let-live and took this on face value.
Many will be surprised as it emerges that freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of conscience were severely compromised by the change.
Most people don’t know that Turnbull Government members teamed up with the Greens and Labor to vote down all of Senator James Paterson’s amendments which would have allowed Australia to remain tolerant of all views about marriage.
I suspect that the Ruddock inquiry recommendations will not be released until after the super-Saturday by-elections on July 28.
In the mean-time, the Turnbull Government should be working overtime to use the Ruddock process to distance itself from Labor and Greens policy which is intolerant of the five million Australians who voted to preserve the definition of marriage.
I’m not holding my breath.
(Note the caption accompanying Jack's image in the embedded video. It says he is "anti-gay". Such slurs are used to demonise those of us who hold the view that marriage is husband and wife. It's time the slurs ended.)