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No, the Supreme Court Religious Freedom Ruling Doesn't Defend a 'No Gays Allowed' Sign

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Christian baker who cited free speech and religious freedom in refusing to make a same-sex wedding cake. Jeff Amyx, owner of a hardware store in Tennessee that became notorious for a "No Gays Allowed" sign in 2015, called the ruling a victory and reportedly decided to put his sign up again.

One problem: the Supreme Court ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission does not defend his discriminatory practices, and the reasons why Amyx is wrong help illustrate why LGBT activists are also wrong to fear legal rulings that would defend bakers from refusing to make same-sex wedding cakes.

Amyx hailed the news that the Court sided in favor of Jack Phillips, the baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, as an unexpected victory. "I was really shocked because of the track record of our Supreme Court," the business owner 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."

On May 1, Amyx shared a picture on Yelp, showing himself standing in front of his business. On the door hung the notice "No Gays Allowed," and on either side of Amyx stood three white boards with signatures of people supporting his decision.

Yelp screenshot of Jeff Amyx in front of a "No Gays Allowed" sign. He posted the image on Yelp in May.

After Amyx first put up the sign in 2015, he later replaced it with one reading, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion."

Liberals and LGBT activists rushed to condemn Masterpiece Cakeshop for inspiring and enabling Amyx.

"The expected outgrowth of SCOTUS ruling this week. Expect more of this," tweeted Annise Parker, former mayor of Houston, Texas, and president and CEO of the LGBT Victory Fund.

"Well - that didn't take long. This is the real harm that Justice Kennedy hath wrought," added Denis O'Hare, an actor best known for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club" (2013).

"Good job, Kennedy," tweeted LGBT activist Amee Vanderpool, directing scorn toward Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop. "This is the result when SCOTUS ducks settling a complicated legal question. 'Tennessee hardware store puts up 'No Gays Allowed' sign.'"