A Tennessee hardware store owner has put up a sign stating “No Gays Allowed” – again – saying that the recent Supreme Court decision regarding a Colorado baker’s right to not bake cakes for gay weddings allows him to do so.
As the Syracuse Post-Standard reports, Jeff Amyx, owner of Amyx Hardware & Roofing supplies in Grainger County, Tennessee, first put up a sign telling gays to stay away back in 2015, and made international headlines in the process. However, he later removed the sign after public backlash, but put up another, less direct sign in its place.
“We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion.”
Amyx, who is a Baptist minister, said that as a Christian, serving gays violates his religious beliefs.
Now three years later, Amyx has put the sign up once again, this time energized by a recent Supreme Court decision.
In a companion Post-Standard report, the upstate New York newspaper noted that the court recently ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, a Christian baker who declined to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding. Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2012 after Phillips told them he wouldn’t bake a cake for their wedding.
The case made its way all the way to the Supreme Court, and in a 7-2 decision, the justices ruled in favor of the baker. However, as the newspaper explains, the decision is extremely narrow and applies only to the baker. In fact, the decision relied largely on technicalities, including the court’s opinion that the commission was openly “hostile” to the baker.
The decision does not broadly strike down Colorado’s, or any other state’s, laws against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Other similar cases, including the case of a florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding, are pending before the Supreme Court or are making their way through the federal courts.
As for Amyx, the narrow Supreme Court ruling, which doesn’t apply to Tennessee broadly, or himself specifically, is only the beginning of a change in the national conversation about LGBTQ issues.
“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. Right now we’re seeing a ray of sunshine. This is ‘happy days’ for Christians all over America, but dark days will come.”