CNN reports that the case has made it all the way to the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. and will hear Masterpiece v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in October of this year.
Both the state civil rights commission and Colorado courts have ruled in the couple’s favor, saying that Phillips’ religious beliefs do not trump the state’s public accommodation laws.
Dave Mullins, right, with his husband Charlie Craig, in Denver in 2013 The gay couple is pursuing a discrimination complaint against a Colorado bakery, saying the business refused them a wedding cake for a family reception in Colorado after they were married in a MA ceremony. Phillips has said that if he were required to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple it would constitute coerced speech.
He reiterated that again Monday in his prepared statement.
Phillips argues that he is happy to sell baked goods to gay customers. “I’m closed on Sundays”, he said.
The problem with this argument is that there is no indication that the cake would contain a message that the baker would be offended or repulsed by (such as a written racist, political, or religious message on the cake).
The court announced on Monday that the justices had voted against taking up a public carry case out of California.
The administration says that the court should have upheld the blanket prohibition on gun ownership in the federal law and rejected case-by-case challenges.
Phillips also says that the notoriety that has come from the ongoing court battle has led to threats. “That’s why the bad decision in this case needs to be reversed”.
“Regardless of your viewpoint about same-sex marriage, shouldn’t we all agree that the government shouldn’t force us to speak or act in a way that violates our deepest convictions?” It wasn’t until 2014 that Colorado allowed same-sex couples to legally marry.
Phillips declined to create a wedding cake, citing his faith: “I don’t feel like I should participate in their wedding, and when I do a cake, I feel like I am participating in the ceremony or the event or the celebration that the cake is for”, he said. “That’s discrimination and it’s based on who they are”. “If an LGBT person came to his cake shop wanting to buy a pre-existing cake, he’d be happy to for any goal”. Phillips argued that he was bound to “use his artistic talents to promote only messages that align with his religious beliefs”.
The brief suggests that Mullins and Craig could have bought their cake elsewhere.
“This is not about the people who asked for a cake, it’s about the message a custom-made cake communicates”, an attorney for the baker said today. The men married in MA and wanted to buy a cake from Phillips for their Denver reception.
Masterpiece Cakeshop is one of a number of businesses that have been successfully sued for discriminating against gay couples.
The Supreme Court’s ruling helps clarify the scope of protections provided by the court’s landmark ruling in 2015 that legalized gay marriage.