Jack Phillips asks CO Court of Appeals to protect his right to create freely
WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys
WHAT: Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop
WHEN: Immediately following hearing, which begins at 2:30 p.m. MDT, Wednesday, Oct. 5
WHERE: Colorado Court of Appeals, 1st floor, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, or watch online. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Specialist Hattie Troutman at (771) 200-7630.
DENVER – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Masterpiece Cakeshop and its owner, cake artist Jack Phillips, will be available for media interviews Wednesday following oral arguments at the Colorado Court of Appeals in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop. The appeal asks the court to uphold Phillips’ First Amendment rights after a trial court issued a ruling that punished Phillips for declining to design a custom cake celebrating a gender transition.
“No one should be forced to express a message that violates their beliefs and conscience,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner, who will be arguing before the court on behalf of Phillips. “Activists and state laws have threatened artists like Jack and graphic artist Lorie Smith because they can’t express messages on marriage and gender that violate their core beliefs. In this case, an activist attorney demanded that Jack create expressive cakes to test him and ‘correct the errors’ of his thinking. The attorney even promised to sue Jack again if the case is dismissed for any reason. Free speech is for everyone. The Constitution protects the freedom of every American to express ideas even if the government disagrees with those ideas.”
On the same day the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear Phillips’ previous case involving the custom creation of a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding—a case in which Phillips prevailed in 2018—the activist called Phillips’ business requesting that Phillips create a custom-designed cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside, that would symbolize and celebrate a gender transition. Phillips’ shop declined that request because that cake expresses messages contrary to Phillips’ religious beliefs, and the activist filed this lawsuit. Phillips works with everyone and decides whether to take a project based on what message a cake expresses, not who is requesting it.
The other case that ADF attorneys are litigating in Colorado is 303 Creative v. Elenis, which is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Both cases involve the same state law, which forces artists to express messages about marriage and gender that contradict their core beliefs and faith.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
# # #