The Supreme Court said Monday that it will consider the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.
According to the New York Times, in 2012, Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., declined to design and bake a cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig’s wedding reception, citing his Christian faith. The couple filed discrimination charges against him.
In 2015, a Colorado court ruled against Phillips. The court stated that he was in violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act by denying the couple a cake and that his business “does not convey a message supporting same-sex marriages merely by abiding by the law and serving its customers equally.”
Phillips’ lawyers asked the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling, arguing that Phillips does not object to serving gay and lesbian clients but wants to use his “artistic talents to promote only messages that align with his religious beliefs.” They added that he also doesn’t make products that contain alcohol or celebrate Halloween due to his faith.
The nation’s highest court announced Monday that it will consider the case this fall.
David Cortman, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal organization that representing Phillips, said in a statement, “Every American should be free to choose which art they will create and which art they won’t create without fear of being unjustly punished by the government.”
“That’s why the bad decision in this case needs to be reversed,” Cortman said. “It imperils everyone’s freedom by crushing dissent instead of tolerating a diversity of views. We are all at risk when government is able to punish citizens like Jack just because it doesn’t like how he exercises his artistic freedom. America must have room for people who disagree to coexist.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and its Colorado chapter are representing Mullins and Craig in the case. James Esseks, the director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project, said in a statement, “The law is squarely on David and Charlie’s side because when businesses are open to the public, they’re supposed to be open to everyone.”
“While the right to one’s religious beliefs is fundamental, a license to discriminate is not,” Esseks said. “Same-sex couples like David and Charlie deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else, and we’re ready to take that fight all the way to the Supreme Court.”