Last July, a Colorado cake artist who declined to use his artistic talents to design a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex ceremony asked the US Supreme Court to take his case and rule that the government cannot force him to communicate a message with which he fundamentally disagrees.
This week, almost a year later, the Court has agreed to hear his case. Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, and Kristen Waggoner, Senior Vice President of US Legal Advocacy, join Freedom Matters to discuss what this means to Jack and other creative professionals around the country who simply want to live and work consistent with their deeply held beliefs.
In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack to design a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Jack politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them birthday cakes and cakes for other events, but he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.
Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which eventually ruled against Phillips. The same-sex couple was easily able to obtain their desired rainbow-themed cake for free from another nearby cake artist.
In contrast to the ruling against Phillips, the commission found in 2015 that three other Denver cake artists were not guilty of creed discrimination when they declined a Christian customer’s request for a cake that reflected his religious opposition to same-sex marriage.
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