A Christian baker who declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding will now have his case heard by the US Supreme Court.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, and the organisation said it was the purpose of the cake, and not the customer that Phillips objected to.
Phillips lost his initial court case in 2013, when a ruling found that he had violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.
The US Supreme Court could consider the case as early as October, in a case which has serious implications for religious liberty and free speech.
Phillips has run the Masterpiece Cakeshop for over 20 years, and also declines to create cakes with alcohol, or which celebrate other things he disagrees with as a matter of conscience, such as Halloween, racism and atheism.
Jeremy Tedesco, ADF Senior Counsel said: “Jack will gladly allow anyone to purchase any product he sells, but he simply can’t put his artistic talents to use on a custom cake for an event so at odds with his faith convictions.”
David Cortman of ADF also added that people should be free to choose what they create and what they decline to create without being punished by the Government.
Cortman said: “That’s why the bad decision in this case needs to be reversed. 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.”
Since refusing to bake the cake in 2012, Phillips has received death threats – some of which have been aimed at his wife and daughter.
He was told he didn’t “deserve to live”, that “Christians should be thrown into the Roman Colosseum with lions”, and one man called to say that he knew Phillips’s daughter Lisa worked at the store, and that he intended to murder them.
Phillips also expressed how hurt he was when a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission said that “Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust”.
“For her to compare standing for my faith and not making a cake to Hitler’s atrocities just is unspeakable”, Phillips said.