A Grainger County, Tenn., hardware store owner who hung a “No Gays Allowed” sign in his shop three years ago when marriage equality became the law of the land is celebrating Monday’s Supreme Court decision that sided with a homophobic Colorado-based baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, reports Knoxville TV station WBIR.
In 2015, in response to marriage equality, Jeff Amyx, proprietor of Amyx Hardware in Washburn, Tenn., hung the antigay sign on the front door of his business, and although some outlets have reported that he rehung it following Monday’s decision, WBIR reporter Grant Ford Robinson, tweeted a clarification — that Amyx never removed the offensive sign.
On Monday, the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, found that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in sanctioning baker Jack Phillips, failed to give his religious beliefs appropriate consideration. The decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd, v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was tailor-made only for that case, with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing in the majority opinion that “laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples.”
SCOTUS’s narrow decision has been deemed one that won’t set a precedent in the courts, but the ramifications of siding with Phillips’s religious freedom vs. the rights of the gay couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins to not face discrimination can be seen in Amyx’s jubilant response to Monday’s ruling.
"I was shocked. I was really shocked because of the track record of our Supreme Court," Amyx told WBIR, adding that he believes Christians are being assailed in the United States.
While Amyx never removed the “No Gays Allowed” sign from his business’s front door, a few days after it was posted in 2015 and became a viral story, he made another sign that he hung beside it that read, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion."
In her dissent on Monday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued that Phillips discriminated against Mullins and Craig based solely on their sexual orientation, something Amyx has no compunction about doing with the sign that remains on his business.
"Christianity is under attack. This is a great win, don't get me wrong, but this is not the end, this is just the beginning," Amyx told WBIR. "Right now we're seeing a ray of sunshine. This is 'happy days' for Christians all over America, but dark days will come."