A brief supporting the Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple on grounds that were faith-based was filed by the Justice Department on Thursday, at the religious freedom case to be thought about before the highest court of the nation.
Owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips, had refused to market a cake for a homosexual couple’s union, claiming a religious exemption to the anti-discrimination law of the state.
“When Phillips layouts and creates a custom wedding cake for a specific couple plus a specific wedding, he plays a significant role in enabling that ritual, and he associates himself with all the celebratory message conveyed,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the short.
Wall added, “Forcing Phillips to make expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his First Amendment rights are invaded by his sincerely held religious beliefs. ”
The Supreme Court announced in June it will hear that the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case. State courts had ruled against the businessman.
The high court will now determine whether applying Colorado’s public accommodation law to compel the baker to make “saying” — a wedding cake — violates his constitutionally protected Christian beliefs about marriage.
“I never thought the authorities would try to take my freedoms away and force me to make something that goes against my morals,&rdquo.
The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday accused the Trump government, through the DOJ short, of advocating for “nothing short of a constitutional right. ”
“This Justice Department has made its hostility to the rights of LGBT people and others” the ACLU’s deputy legal director, Louise Melling, said in a statement. “However, this short was shocking, even for this government. ”
Backers of Phillips, such as Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, though, call it a “liberty of expression case” that “extends far more broadly than a religious liberty case. ”
“What matters is how our laws can be brought to bear against those who believe,” Lee said. “The authorities cannot make you speak where you’d decide to remain silent. These are foundational pillars of Constitution. ”
Phillips has told the Supreme Court he’s religious rights and free speech under the First Amendment that should shield him. He said he shouldn’t be compelled to bake a cake to honor a marriage.
People are, though, protected by Colorado’s anti-discrimination legislation . After Phillips stated he would not make and decorate a cake with regard to their marriage, Charlie Craig and David Mullins had registered a complaint against his Denver store and Phillips.
Colorado didn’t permit same-sex couples to marry until 2014. Two years before, sponsor a reception in Denver upon their return, and Mullin and Craig were likely to fly to Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage was lawful. They desired a cake for the occasion.
The situation will be yet another in a string of “religious liberty” disputes that the justices have reviewed in recent years, and may be a significant First Amendment evaluation of the scope anti-discrimination laws apply to homosexual Americans.
Oral arguments will be held in the term of court beginning in the fall.
Fox News’ Bill Mears and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.
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