In today’s “Beating A Dead Horse” department comes news that bigoted Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips of Colorado who wants the Supreme Court to hear his case after a lower court ruled he could not cite his religious beliefs to refuse service to a same-sex couple looking to purchase a wedding cake.
Phillips declined to make a cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins in 2012 saying that baking the wedding cake would violate his “faith”. Both Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission and the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled he discriminated against the couple and ordered him to change his store policy against making cakes for gay weddings. And despite the fact that last week the Colorado Supreme Court decided against hearing the case Phillips’ attorney filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, asking the Supreme Court of the United States to hear the case.
No one—not Jack or anyone else—should be forced by the government to further a message that they cannot in good conscience promote,” said right-wing, anti-LGBT law group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco in a statement. “We are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living.”
Via press release from Alliance Defending Freedom:
A Lakewood, Colorado, cake artist who declined to use his artistic talents to create a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex ceremony asked the nation’s highest court Friday to take his case and rule that the government cannot force him to communicate a message with which he fundamentally disagrees.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed the petition because the Colorado Supreme Court declined in April to take the case after the state’s Court of Appeals affirmed a Colorado Civil Rights Commission decision from May 2014. That decision ordered Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations. The decision also ordered Phillips to comply with Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act by re-educating his staff and filing quarterly “compliance” reports for two years.
“No one—not Jack or anyone else—should be forced by the government to further a message that they cannot in good conscience promote,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “And that’s what this case is about. Jack, who has happily served people of all backgrounds for years, simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic talents to promote a message and event with which he fundamentally disagrees. We are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living.”
In a guest piece for the Post, the baker explained “same-sex unions are not an idea I can help celebrate.”
“The message I would be supporting with my talents is not a message I agree with or can pour myself into communicating effectively,” he wrote. “It’s not about selling cookies or cupcakes; it’s about investing some part of my creative soul into communicating an idea my heart rejects.”
Mark Silverstein, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, told the Denver Post they intend to file a response to the baker’s petition.
“As we’ve argued and the courts have consistently and correctly ruled in this case, everyone has a right to their religious beliefs,” he explained. “But business owners cannot rely on those beliefs as an excuse to discriminate against prospective customers.”
Just bake the damn cake!