ICC Note: In the controversial case that began in 2012, a Christian baker from Colorado, Jack Phillips, refused to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding. After being found guilty of discrimination, Phillips filed an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court in response with the support of Alliance Defending Freedom. Although the Colorado Civil Rights Commission decided that Phillips was guilty on account of discrimination, the same commission allowed other local bakeries to refuse to make cakes depicting the Bible and displaying Scripture.
By Samuel Smith
10/26/2015 United States (The Christian Post) – The Christian Colorado baker who was found guilty of discrimination for declining to make a cake for a same-sex wedding in 2012 has appealed his case to the state supreme court, which gives the court the opportunity to weigh the hot-button issue of whether private wedding venders have the right not to work gay weddings on the basis of religious objection.
Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, officially filed an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court last Friday after the Court of Appeals decided in August to uphold a May 2014 Civil Rights Commission ruling that he could not legally refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples on the grounds that it violated his religious convictions.
The ruling by the commission requires Phillips to not only serve cake at same-sex wedding ceremonies against his will, but also re-educate his staff to be in compliance with Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act. Additionally, Phillips must file quarterly compliance reports for the next two years.
With the help of lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom, Phillips’ petition to the supreme court explains that he has long integrated faith with work by honoring God by declining to bake cakes that violate his Christian beliefs.
In over 20 years of service, Phillips has declined to bake cakes with anti-Christian, anti-family, anti-American themes and cakes that promote Halloween, atheism, racism or indecency. Likewise, Phillips has also consistently refused to make cakes for weddings that go against the biblical teachings of marriage.
“It was the duty of the Court of Appeals to adopt a reasonable interpretation of CADA that ‘avoid[s] constitutional conflict.’ But it did the opposite,” the petition states. “By equating an artist’s conscience-driven, message-based objection to creating expressive items that offend his beliefs with person-based discrimination based on sexual orientation, the court places CADA in direct conflict with the fundamental rights to free speech and free exercise of religion, and wrongly subordinates these rights to public accommodations law.”