WASHINGTON – Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips received the 2017 “Courage in the Face of Power: Daniel Award” Tuesday at the Weyrich Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. The Weyrich organization presents the award annually to people who have demonstrated extraordinary courage despite significant opposition from those in power. Previous recipients include Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson.
In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case now at the U.S. Supreme Court, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Phillips and his family cake shop. He has been fighting for his religious and artistic freedom ever since the commission, acting on a complaint filed by a same-sex couple whom the American Civil Liberties Union represents, ruled that a state law could force him to design custom artistic expression contrary to his faith.
“Jack is a humble and worthy recipient of this honor,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who will argue before the high court on behalf of Phillips and his shop. “Artists and other creative professionals should be able to peacefully live and work according to their beliefs without fear of punishment by the government. Jack has taken a brave stand for that principle, both for himself and for artists everywhere, even enduring death threats and sacrificing 40 percent of his business because the state won’t let him design any wedding cakes if he won’t design them for same-sex weddings.”
“Regardless of one’s view on marriage, all Americans should support Jack,” Waggoner added. “To have First Amendment freedoms for ourselves, we must respect those same freedoms for people with whom we disagree on important issues.”
“Staying true to my faith as a Christian has resulted in significant loss to my business, death threats, slander, and being compared to some of the most unimaginable things,” said Phillips at Tuesday’s award ceremony. “Not a day goes by where I don’t thank the Lord for his protection over me and my family.”
But Phillips added that “this case is not just about me—Jack’s freedom—but the freedom of all Americans to be able to peacefully speak, live, and work according to our faith and deepest convictions without fear of being punished by the government.... If we are to lose this most basic right, this fundamental component to who we are as a people, as a nation, what is to come?” (#JusticeForJack)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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