Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 02 March |
Saint of the Day: St. Chad
home iconNews
line break icon

Christian Baker Files Religious Freedom Appeal in Marriage Ruling

Shardayyy

Catholic News Agency - published on 01/09/14

“Jack simply exercised the long-cherished freedom to not speak by declining to promote a false view of marriage through his creative work,” explained a lawyer.

A Christian baker in Colorado is appealing a judge's ruling that he must violate his religious beliefs and bake a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony.

“Jack simply exercised the long-cherished freedom to not speak by declining to promote a false view of marriage through his creative work,” explained lead counsel Nicolle Martin, who is allied with Alliance Defending Freedom.

“It’s outrageous that the government would turn its guns on Jack and threaten him with a potential jail sentence unless he says and does what the government demands.”

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., declined in July 2012 to make a wedding cake for two men who had recently obtained a civil marriage license in Massachusetts.

Phillips explained that his evangelical Christian faith prevented him from making a cake for a “gay wedding.” In response, the two men filed a discrimination suit.

In December 2013, Colorado Judge Robert Spencer ruled that Phillips' actions constituted discrimination and do not fall under protected freedom of speech because the requested cake did not explicitly include text supporting “gay marriage.”

Judge Spencer also rejected Phillips claim that he has a right to live out his religious beliefs in his business decisions. The judge said that baking a wedding cake “does not involve an effort by the government to regulate what Respondents believe. Rather, it involves that state's regulation of conduct.”

Phillips was issued a “cease and desist” order that required him to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

He is now appealing that decision, aided by Alliance Defending Freedom, which argued in its summary judgment brief that the baker “did not discriminate 'because of' sexual orientation.”

“It is undisputed that Jack has served homosexual customers in the past, creating all manner of baked goods for a variety of occasions,” the brief explained, adding that Phillips had specifically told the couple that he would bake other products for them.

While Phillips is happy to serve homosexual customers, his faith prohibits him from affirming “gay marriage” ceremonies through his actions, the brief said.

In making this decision, he is exercising his right to live out his religious beliefs, the law group stated. Furthermore, by choosing not to bake a cake, he is refraining from participating and promoting speech and beliefs that he does not hold, a practice that is “both statutory and constitutional” under Colorado law.

In addition to avoiding participation in same-sex wedding ceremonies, Phillips closes his store on Sundays and “does not create baked goods for Halloween because of his deeply held religious beliefs.”

By requiring Phillips to “conform his conscience to their definition of marriage,” the legal brief stated, “Government is unconstitutionally attempting to force (him) to violate his sincerely held religious beliefs and to compel him to speak a message that is contrary to his actual beliefs.”

“Every artist must be free to create work that expresses what he or she believes and not be forced to express contrary views,” explained Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner.

“Forcing Americans to promote ideas against their will undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression and our right to live free. If the government can take away our First Amendment freedoms, there is nothing it can’t take away.”

Courtesy of Catholic News Agency.

Tags:
HomosexualityReligious Freedom
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
2
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
3
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
4
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
7
Frei Giuseppe Ungaro
Aleteia
The 100-year-old Franciscan who knew 6 saints in person
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.