The U.S. Justice Department has come out in support of a Christian baker in Colorado whose religious freedoms have been violated by a state anti-discrimination law. Lawyers for the U.S. Attorney General’s office have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of an appeal by Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver. Phillips is appealing rulings issued by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and a Colorado appeals court that he violated the ant-bias provisions of the state’s “public accommodations” law. Changes made to that law in the last decade prohibit discrimination by commercial enterprises based on so-called “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
Phillips was approached in 2012 by two men to decorate a cake for their same-sex union ceremony. Phillips declined to accept the order, stating that he could not participate in a celebration that violated his religious beliefs. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, the two men filed suit against Phillips charging him with discrimination because of their same-sex relationship. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear this case during its current term, which began yesterday. The case is expected to result in a landmark ruling regarding the reach of “public accommodations” laws pushed by the homosexual rights movement which are targeted at Christian business owners. Several federal and state courts have demonstrated utter disregard for the First Amendment by deciding that individuals engaged in public commerce forfeit their right to the free exercise of religion.
“Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” wrote the Trump Administration’s Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall in the amicus brief. “Weddings are sacred rites in the religious realm and profoundly symbolic ceremonies in the secular one.” “The government may not compel an unwilling speaker to join a group or event at odds with his religious or moral beliefs,” the brief continues. “Just as a painter does more than simply apply paint to a canvas, a baker of a customer wedding cake does more than simply mix together eggs, flour, and sugar. Both apply their artistic talents and viewpoints to the endeavor.”
86 members of Congress have also submitted their own friend-of-the-court brief in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, spearheaded by Senator Mike Lee of Utah. “The Supreme Court has said that the First Amendment prohibits the government from requiring individuals to make a particular statement with which they disagree,” Senator Lee said in a press conference. “This is a compelled-speech case,” Senator Lee observed. “This isn’t a case where someone refused to sell a pre-made good to someone else based on their sexuality or their ‘orientation.’ They were asking the baker to use his talents and specialty to craft a cake carrying a message with which the baker disagrees. The government cannot force you to speak where you would choose to remain silent.”
Jack Phillips has already been the victim of the most malicious hatred from “gay rights” activists, including a death threat phoned to his store. A man called his shop, saying he knew that his daughter Lisa was working there that day. The man then gave specific driving directions to the store, where he said he would come and murder them both.The Colorado Civil Rights tribunal was determined to “rehabilitate” Phillips, ordering him and his employees to undergo “sensitivity training” sessions. One of the commissioners compared his stand for religious freedom to the evils of slavery and the Holocaust.Phillips was stunned by the mean-spirited comparison of his exercise of his conscience rights to the racial and religious genocide of the Nazi regime. Jack’s father was a military veteran who was severely injured during World War II. He was part of a combat unit that helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp.
The Masterpiece Cakeshop case not only has massive religious liberty implications, but also has substantial economic ramifications for wedding vendors and other Christian business owners. In order to honor the state edict and stay true to his conscience, Phillips has stopped baking wedding cakes. The result has been the loss of 40 percent of his family income and the layoff of most of his employees.In the most obscene case of government persecution of a Christian business, the owners of an Oregon bakery were found guilty of “sexual orientation” discrimination by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. They, too, had declined to bake and decorate a cake for a same-sex ceremony.The state labor standards board punished Aaron and Melissa Klein with a gargantuan fine of $135,000, forcing them to shut down their storefront business Sweet Cakes by Melissa. It was later revealed that the chairman of the state board is an outspoken homosexual rights activist.