Denver, Colorado, USA (Friday, April 29, 2016, Gaudium Press) The lawyers of the bakery owner who made headlines for declining to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding is “evaluating all legal options” to preserve the man’s First Amendment rights after the state’s highest court declined to take the case.
“We asked the Colorado Supreme Court to take this case to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in an April 25 statement.
On April 25 the Colorado Supreme Court declined to review an earlier decision from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission requiring Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to undergo re-education training and file quarterly compliance reports for two years.
“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 shouldn’t be placed in jeopardy for anyone,” Tedesco continued.
Now Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit legal organization that advocates for the rights of citizens to live out their faith freely, says that they are “evaluating all legal options to preserve this freedom for Jack.”
The baker made headlines when in 2012 he declined to bake a wedding cake for a couple’s same-sex wedding ceremony, citing his religious beliefs about gay marriage in an exchange that lasted less than a minute, according to Phillips. The baker told the clients he’d gladly make them any other kind of cake, just not one celebrating their same-sex marriage.
At the time, same-sex marriage was not legally recognized in the state of Colorado, but the two men filed a legal complaint against him.
As a result, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ordered Phillips and his business to have his staff staff to undergo anti-discrimination training while submitting quarterly reports on how his company is changing its policies to comply.
Since then, Phillips’ shop has stopped baking wedding cakes in order to continue operating his business without violating his religious beliefs, he says.