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Published On: Mon, Jul 6th, 2015

ADF heads to court to defend Coloado baker who refuse to make gay wedding cake

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco and ADF-allied attorney Nicolle Martin are speaking out following Tedesco’s oral argument before the Colorado Court of Appeals on behalf of a Lakewood, Colorado, cake artist who declined to use his artistic talents to create a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex ceremony.

Bert Ernie Support Gay Marriage cake photoADF attorneys and allied attorneys filed a reply brief in April with the court after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled in May 2014 that Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop must create cakes for same-sex celebrations and comply with Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act by re-educating his staff and filing quarterly “compliance” reports for two years.

“Americans are guaranteed the freedom to live and work consistent with their faith,” said Tedesco. “Government has a duty to protect people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally rather than force them to adopt the government’s views. Jack simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic talents to promote a message with which he disagrees.”

According to a March 13 Marist poll, 65 percent of Americans oppose penalizing wedding vendors who choose not to provide services for same-sex ceremonies on religious grounds.

In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.

Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which eventually ruled against Phillips. The same-sex couple was easily able to obtain their desired rainbow-themed cake from another nearby baker.

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