The Colorado Supreme Court has just refused to hear the case of a Christian baker who cited his religious beliefs in declining wedding-related service to a same-sex couple. Today’s decision effectively allows to stand a lower court ruling that maintained Denver bakeshop owner Jack Phillips cannot cite his Christian faith when refusing service to gay couples.
Via Washington Times:
The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday refused to review Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig, a case featuring a religious wedding cake baker who was punished for declining to service a same-sex wedding celebration.
“We asked the Colorado Supreme Court to take this case to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living,” Mr. Tedesco said in a press release.
“Jack, who has happily served people of all backgrounds for years, simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic talents to promote a message and event with which he disagrees, and that freedom should not be placed in jeopardy for anyone,” he said.
Mr. Phillips in 2012 declined to service the wedding celebration of same-sex couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig. The couple planned to marry in Massachusetts — as same-sex marriage did not become legal in Colorado until 2014 — and then hold a celebration with family and friends in Colorado.
The couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after Mr. Phillips declined to cater the event. The commission ordered Mr. Phillips to revise his business practices, conduct comprehensive staff re-education and file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years.
Staff re-education??? Are we in America anymore?
Mr. Phillips said he is happy to sell gay people baked goods that do not promote messages he disagrees with. He said he declines to make cakes that promote a wide variety of ideas that run contrary to his beliefs, not just those pertaining to same-sex marriage.
“It’s not just the cakes for the same-sex weddings — I haven’t singled out that one issue as something that I won’t do,” he said in a video distributed by ADF. “I also don’t make cakes for bachelor parties. I don’t make Halloween cakes or anything involving witchcraft or demons. Sometimes it seems like I’ve turn down more cakes in a day than I’ve taken orders for.”
The Colorado Court of Appeals in 2015 affirmed the Civil Rights Commission’s finding, ruling that declining to service same-sex wedding ceremonies violates Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act.
Mr. Phillips’ legal counsel said it is “evaluating all legal options” in the case. Meanwhile Phillips has stopped making wedding cakes altogether while the case is being litigated. As someone who spent many years in the bakery business, I (Michelle Jesse) can only imagine the financial implications of cutting out the entire wedding portion of one’s business.
Naturally, the American Civil Liberties Union applauded today’s development, saying:
“The highest court in Colorado today affirmed that no one should be turned away from a public-facing business because of who they are or who they love,” Ria Tabacco Mar, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT Project who argued the case, said in a statement. “We all have a right to our personal beliefs, but we do not have a right to impose those beliefs on others and discriminate against them.”
What about Christians who love Jesus Christ? Are they not being discriminated against — prosecuted with the heavy hand of government — because of who they love? And yes, we do all have a right to our personal beliefs, but not to impose those beliefs on others — except, apparently, if those “others” are Christian.
How do you think the following would go over?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]