Meanwhile, anti-LGBTQ activists in the state launched a letter-writing campaign to pressure Texas Supreme Court judges, who are elected officials, to reopen the case and threatened to vote against them if they did not decide against the city and the same-sex couples. It follows a legal analysis similar to that originally proposed by Banzhaf, who suggested that anti-discrimination statutes prevent discrimination based upon the characteristics of a potential customer (e.g., being gay), but not upon a refusal to send a message related to that characteristic (e.g., preparing a same-sex wedding cake).
Phillips then took his case to the Supreme Court and the justices agreed to take it up after mulling it for several weeks.
ABC News reports that Kennedy has expressed sympathy for both sides of the case: He said that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not appear to be "tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips' religious beliefs", but also noted that ruling in Phillips' favor could lead to shops putting up signs like "We do not bake cakes for gay weddings".
"Tolerance is meaningful in society", Kennedy said.
As the Supreme Court wrestled with a clash between religious freedom and LGBT rights on Tuesday, all eyes were on Justice Anthony Kennedy, who might have to reconcile two strands of his jurisprudence.
Phillips said he couldn't design a custom wedding cake for two men who requested it.
One thing you should understand about Texas Supreme Court justices is that they are elected, not given lifetime appointments.
Speaking outside of court after the justices heard the case, baker Jack Phillips said the five-year court fight has "been very hard on me and my family". Backers of Craig and Mullins countered: "Love wins".
"A loss at the Supreme Court could open the door to many forms of discrimination that have always been outlawed in our society", TIME reported Mullins said. "It's about the privilege of gay individuals to get equivalent administration".
"This isn't about artistic expression", said Craig.
The couple is being represented in court by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU, who are defending couple Craig and Mullins, said in a statement: "The question is whether a shop like Masterpiece Cakeshop can put up a sign in its window saying, 'Wedding cakes for heterosexual couples only'".
Twenty other states and the District of Columbia likewise expressly prohibit places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The Trump organization sides with Phillips for the situation, contending that it falls "inside the little arrangement of uses of substance nonpartisan laws that legitimacy elevated examination" from the courts. "A custom wedding cake is not an ordinary baked good; its function is more communicative and artistic than utilitarian", Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued.
"In like manner, the legislature may not order content-based laws instructing a speaker to take part in secured articulation: A craftsman can't be compelled to paint, a performer can't be compelled to play, and an artist can't be compelled to compose". To refuse to sell any t-shirt to a person simply because he is gay would violate the statute, whereas refusing to print a t-shirt which promote a gay lifestyle or activities, for anyone regardless of sexual orientation, is not illegal discrimination.