U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court to decide case of baker who refused to make wedding cake for gay couple

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether a Colorado nondiscrimination law violated the constitutional rights of a Christian bakery owner who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, claims he has a First Amendment right to refuse to make a custom cake for the couple. The Washington Post has a story on the court’s decision to hear the case. Alliance Defending Freedom has a summary of the case here.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission had issued a cease and desist order against Phillips. The state said he had violated the state’s public accommodations law, which prohibits businesses from refusing service to customers based on several factors, including marital status and sexual orientation.

Phillips had told Charlie Craig and David Mullins in July 2012 that his religious beliefs prevented him from baking the cake but he would be happy to sell other baked goods. Phillips says he believes decorating cakes is a form of art, that he can honor God with his artistic talents, and he would displease God by creating cakes for same-sex weddings.

The Colorado Court of Appeals had ruled that creating a cake is not sufficiently expressive to trigger First Amendment protections. The Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The case is Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The SCOTUSblog case page is here.

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