By Kevin Daley
A Christian baker who claims a government order forcing him to bake wedding cakes for same-sex ceremonies infringes on his religious freedom, is taking his case to the Supreme Court.
A gay couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, asked Masterpiece Cakeshop to bake a rainbow-themed cake for their same-sex wedding ceremony in July 2012. The cake shop’s proprietor, Jack Phillips, declined the request, telling the couple he did not want to produce a baked good that communicated a message that violated his faith.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a public interest law firm that represents Phillips, announced Friday they filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.
“No one—not Jack or anyone else—should be forced by the government to further a message that they cannot in good conscience promote,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco in a statement. “We are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living.”
Craig and Mullins filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which found that Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop must produce cakes for same sex wedding ceremonies.
The commission also required Phillips and his staff take re-education classes and file quarterly compliance reports for two years. Phillips appealed the decision to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which affirmed the commission’s finding. The Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the lower court’s finding. Phillips has since stopped baking wedding cakes. Craig and Mullins are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. (RELATED: Christian Baker Forced To Bake Gay Wedding Cakes Or Make No Wedding Cakes At All)
The petition marks the first time the Supreme Court will hear an appeal of this nature. Though other lawsuits have been brought against individuals for denying similar services to gay couples, none have yet reached the high court.
Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.