There’s a growing number of voices asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold #JusticeforJack. In fact, at least 45 amicus briefs were filed with the Court in support of Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips.
Jack’s case began when a couple walked into his store, Masterpiece Cakeshop, and requested a custom cake design for their same-sex ceremony. Jack replied the same way he always has when asked to take on a project that conflicts with his beliefs: He politely declined but offered to sell them anything else in his store. Instead, the couple stormed out and filed a complaint with the state.
For Jack, it’s not about who requests the cake – he would gladly make cakes for anyone who walks in his store, including LGBT people. Rather, it’s about the event itself and what Jack is being asked to celebrate with his artistic talents.
That’s an important distinction that the State of Colorado is missing in its campaign to force Jack to create art celebrating an event that violates his faith.
Five years later, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear his case, and we are asking that they uphold Jack’s freedom to peacefully live and work according to his faith. Here are some of the people and organizations that are standing with Jack:
The United States
“[A] custom wedding cake is a form of expression . . . It is an artistic creation that is both subjectively intended and objectively perceived as a celebratory symbol of a marriage.”
“Colorado has compelled religious speech—plain and simple. And that is anathema to the First Amendment.”
22 Minority and Civil Rights Organizations
“Jack Phillips’ conflict of conscience is motivated by his reasonable beliefs about the nature of marriage. To say that his refusal to support a same-sex wedding is the same as discriminating against people who identify as gay is to misstate the facts of the case and the relationship between the parties. To compare his refusal to race discrimination ignores the history of racism in this country and flies in the face of the history and purpose of marriage itself.”
86 Members of Congress
“Government coercion of speech or conduct that violates the religious conscience of the speaker or actor is not only a violation of the First Amendment, it is also un-American and a gross violation of personal liberty.”
479 Creative Professionals Nationwide
“Artistic speech, whether expressed through painting a pictures, taking a photograph, or designing a cake, is constitutionally protected and should be treated as such. The expression should neither be silenced nor coerced. Though the concern is currently most pressing in the same-sex wedding context, it is not so limited. Creative professionals of all stripes stand to suffer from undue compulsion, depending on how this Court rules here.”
And that’s only naming a few. There were religious organizations, libertarian groups, law professors, economists, other scholars, law firms, and business associations – all filing briefs with the Supreme Court on Jack’s behalf.
The freedom to live and work consistently with our deepest convictions is a freedom the Supreme Court should uphold.
That’s the principle these groups are standing for – and it’s a principle we should all be able to support. If the government has the power to force Jack to celebrate an event against his beliefs today, then there’s nothing keeping the government from overriding your liberty in the future.
And that’s why, no matter where you stand on same-sex marriage, we must stand together to defend Jack’s freedom. Your freedom – and everyone’s freedom – depends on it.
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