SCOTUS same-sex wedding cake decision: How both sides say they got here today

ABC News' "Nightline" spoke to cake artist Jack Phillips and married couple Charles Craig and Dave Mullins last week, before the Supreme Court's ruling Monday in Phillips' favor.
8:49 | 06/05/18

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Transcript for SCOTUS same-sex wedding cake decision: How both sides say they got here today
jack Phillips S he's Nott a baker, he's an ar. Part of icing and piping. Part of it is paintbrush. Part of it is airbrushreate as, takes like these. We pain cakes. We sculpt S. We sketch cakes. Designt we're goi to do. Te deeply religious, Phillips says hishristian faithdes everything in H life. His one is first out of first corints. Stand firm, be strongnd immovable. Always work enthusically for the lord. Rter: Inclung his refusal to bake ading cake for a gay couple.hat cake is that strong of messageour culture. And marriage in general between a man and I woman across all cultures, religions, isn inherently R event. Reporter: That faith part of an epic legal clash between gious liberty a gay rights. All of which began when Charlie Craig and Dave mul walked masterpiece cake Shon 2012. Like anyple cie and I were really excited to be getting married. Legal in Colo. Soughtple was planning to get married in acts, fo by a reception back home N . And on this partar day when we were going to sample wedding cakes -- nd whenavid and Charlie came in we introd ourselves, what can I do for you. We'rere to look at wedding cakes. 'S for our wedding P. It was a reallycial day because Charlie's mom W in town. She does not live in Denver so she was particularly excited. So I realized right that this is N a cake tt I'm going to be able to design and Crea for them. So I tried to apologize to them and say I'll selu cookies, brownies, day cakes, anything else in my store. Buteeren't in there for ownies for my birthday. We were in cause we needed a cake to serve at reception. At which point they both jumped up, swore at me,ed out of my shop. You kn charlad a binder fullnd concepts. You know, weer even got a chance ton the bind You don't see it as an act of rimination. I see it as an act of followin faith. It's not a cake. An iconic. Of a wedding. This is rious ceremony that goes in dt conflict with M fa When I realized exactly what had happened in the car, you know, I bro down and started crying. Repor that one encounter at this suake shop in laod, color -- Here's to your legal fee. Reporr: -- propled both the cakeernd the cou into the center of a scorching Nati debate. That went all way to the highest cou in theland. And today in a7-2 decision T sue court ruled in favor of the baker. It' good for jack. It's goo fusinesses who want to run their businesses according to their convictions, whether the Christians, muslims, jews,secular, whatever the case might be. I Thi it's good for that. Reporter: And celebrations erdutside Phillips's store. It' ad day to have ke. I'm very Ted. Reporter: Craig and Mullins sayy blindsided by the decision. St emotions were just shock and disappointment. The bakery may have wonhe battle but it hastainly lost the war. The court really recognized today T harms of discriminatind those harms apply equally when it comes to lgbt people. Reporter: We were in doll coll Colorado just last week only days before Toda aching decision. For muins and Craig even over fiears later that brief interact S stings. I was moied. I mean, neither one of us had evereen treated this way before at a business. Reporter: Dejected and furious, thee posted about their expert on Facebook. W wrote just a sma modest post that said hey, we were riminated again a cake shop. Reporter: The post went viral. Weeceived T outpouring of support from people literally nd the world. Rter: Encouraged by the public se, the couple filed a complaint with the Colorado civil rights commissi Colorado is one of 21tes that prohibits discrimination sed on sexual orientation. Colorado's civil rights commissioned in favor of the couple. Describing the baker's refusal pieces of rhet. That decision was upheld by the Colorado court of appeals. It made usl lik we were valuedembers of our community. It's N about hate. This is T not creating a message and a government forcing me to. Because people have called you a bigot.'m not. I serve everybody who C my store. I just don't create cakes -- every that people ask me to create Reporter: As part of the ruling the commission ordered illips to ren his employees and serve everyone ING cakes regardless of sexual nation. So he stopped making wedding cakes alter. And here is a sample of the brownie. Reporter: His rel, he says, cost him 40% of his business worse. We've had death threats. We've had e-mails, phone calls. Our lives have been Turne side down. Reporter: Aided by the alliance defending frm, a Christian advocacy organization, phillipsitioned thereme court to take his case. We W asking the court to look at it as creative professionals. Should they beorced to violate first amendment, deeply held religious beliefs to create art that violates those beliefs? Which is more important? Rter: Saying the state of coloradoiod his first amendment rights of fre of religion and speech. And there's the slippery slope O does chip away at the artisans, whether it's a jeweler or a makeup artist or others who would then havehe ability to essentiallyco gay Mages? I think that the supreme court is looking a that. Those were good questiot they asked. In mycase,however, that's not an is what I do, I paintn cakes. I sculpt kes. It's clearly ar it's clearly protected. This is a a cake. It's about the right of people receive equal service at a place ofusiness that anyone else wo reporter: The news that the court would take up case was a shock to everyone involve the weight of both movements Sitt squary O theirers. I know it's Haro predict how you will feel,ut if it came down inr favor how would you act? I would probably overjoye Cldn't you create a generic wedding cake that would be avblone who walked in and then customized for certain people, or is that against the -- That would be sidestepping the ISS. Th's still T government forcing me to create cakes for ceremonies that go against my H. I think sadness and fear over what the future will look like for people B on this precedent. So this was a 7-2 decision, but there was actually a lot of disagreement even among the justices wgreed with the outcome in the case. Justice Anthony Ken wrought opinion for the court. The only dig just re jusce Ruth Bader ginsb and Sonia Sotomayor. Reporter: T'suling a narrow victory for religious advocates. At least just affirming gay rs but ruling in favor of the baker becausenically they say it was he who faced anti-religious biasalling out the Colorado commission's lage srespectful and hostile tds H sincere relis beliefs. I think it's hard to know just reading the opinion what it's going to mean kind O on the ground in practi come out of this I think we that it's important for E offials to approach these kindsf disputes respectful of claims all sides. Reporr: Lgbtq groups includingad worry Thi ruling could open the floodgates for victory. Weand supporonother! Reporter:id behind religious exemptions. You're well aware that history, historically, businessesave used religious exemptions to deny service to African-Americans hotels restaurants or -- I can't answer for that. All C ishat's not my belief at all. There'sostion THA opponents oflgbt equality will already have seized on today's opini as standing for far more than I .is incase was never a cakes and we know our opposition won't op. Reporter:t the cake shop today the mood was celebry. But dav Mullins and Charlie cr say the fight for equal ri I fm over. The struggle is . And you know,ivil rs aren't gained overnight. And you know, we hope T we've raised awarenessot just I Colorado but acro the country of how this form of discrimination affects lgbt people across the cou E day.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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