The Christmas season has proven to be a sobering time for Jack Phillips of Lakewood, Colorado. Phillips has learned that the freedom of religion guarantees of the Bill of Rights do not apply to him.
Phillips is the owner of Masterpiece Cakes, a bakery shop in the Denver suburbs. Last summer, Phillips declined a request to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex union ceremony. He told the homosexual "couple" that he could not violate his religious beliefs by participating in a ceremony that is offensive to God.
A Colorado administrative law judge has now ruled that Phillips is guilty of "sexual orientation discrimination" for refusing to provide the wedding cake for the homosexual ceremony. Judge Robert Spencer decided
that Phillips had violated the new "gay rights" anti-discrimination provisions of the state's public accommodations law.
Judge Spencer ruled that Jack Phillips was not being required to engage in "compelled speech" despite the fact that the law forces him to join in the celebration of morally reprehensible behavior. Judge Spencer said that Phillips' free speech rights were "plainly incidental to the government's right to regulate objectionable conduct." In other words, opposition by religious believers to morally objectionable conduct is
legally objectionable conduct.
Judge Spencer made clear his pro-homosexual bias by non-juridical comments he made in his ruling. Spencer said that Phillip's actions were damaging to society and hurtful to other persons. Spencer suggested that Phillips could increase his business "by not alienating the gay community."
Judge Spencer went further to suggest that Phillips may want to get out of the bakery business altogether. "If respondents choose to quit making wedding cakes
altogether to avoid future violations of the law, that is a matter of personal choice and not a result compelled by the state." In other words, you can stay in business as long as the state likes what you do.
Phillips is now subject to a "cease and desist order" from the administrative law court. Should he violate the order again, he would be subject to significant fines under the law.
Phillips says he is not going to abandon his religious convictions to satisfy the judge's onerous order. "I'll serve jail time if that's what it takes. My priority will be to my faith rather than my safety or security."
"My decision not to participate in the 'gay weddings' is not motivated by politics or hatred of gays," Phillips says. "My decision is based solely on a desire to live my life in obedience to God and His Word. These are my personal standards taken from Jesus Christ and the Bible."Tony Perkins
, President of the Family Research Council, says that the core First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty has become a casualty of the homosexual agenda.
"Americans are being required to do something the Founding Fathers never intended: separate their values from their vocations. If Jack Phillips wants to serve the Lord full time through his business, the First Amendment encourages it. What it doesn't encourage are judges like Robert Spencer who trample the rights of Americans as a way of inventing new rights."
Nicolle Martin, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, says that Phillips should not be forced under threat of legal punishment to use his creative abilities to endorse activity his religion views as abhorrent. ADF is representing Phillips in the litigation.
"Jack Phillips is just trying to live within a certain set of Biblical principles because he believes he answers to God for everything he does. America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their religious beliefs. If the government can take away our First Amendment freedoms, there is nothing it can't take away."
Jack Phillips shares company with other Christian business owners whose religious freedoms are being obliterated in the wake of abusive "sexual orientation discrimination" statutes.
An Oregon couple announced in September they were shutting down their storefront bakery following charges by state officials that they had violated state anti-discrimination laws by declining to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual ceremony. Aaron and Melissa Klein
, operators of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, decided to
close their retail bakery shop following a concerted campaign of harsh harassment and vile intimidation by homosexual activists.
A New Mexico couple who operate a photography business were found guilty in August of "sexual orientation discrimination" because they declined to photography a same-sex union ceremony. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin
must sacrifice their religious freedom if they choose to engage in the marketplace. One of the justices
wrote that the Huguenins must conform their conduct to the beliefs of others as the "price of citizenship."
Earlier this year the Attorney General of the state of Washington filed suit against a local florist for declining to provide floral arrangements for a homosexual "wedding" ceremony. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is prosecuting Barronnelle Stutzman for violating state consumer protection laws prohibiting discrimination based on "sexual orientation."
Bakers, florists, photographers, and banquet center owners could have faced the same legal harassment, intimidation, and prosecution in Missouri had the
Missouri House not taken a stand this past session against a similar "gay rights bill." The Missouri Senate approved legislation amending the state's human rights statutes to ban "sexual orientation" discrimination in the final hours of of the legislative session. Fortunately, the Missouri House refused to take up the bill.
Please be praying for brave business owners like Jack Phillips who have the moral courage to defend our religious liberties and the Biblical principles upon which our nation was founded.
We encourage you to send a message of encouragement to Jack Phillips. His e-mail address is email@example.com