A Christian legal firm will fight in court Tuesday for a Christian baker in a case that could be the next big Supreme Court decision on gay rights.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is representing a Christian cake maker against the American Civil Liberties Union and a gay couple during oral arguments before the Colorado Court of Appeals Tuesday. The ADF attorney arguing the case told The Daily Caller News Foundation that this case, or another like it, will ultimately end up before the Supreme Court.
“I think it’s just a matter of time before the Supreme Court takes up the issue,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco told TheDCNF.
The “issue” is wedding service providers facing legal action for refusing to serve same-sex wedding ceremonies.
Jack Phillips has been living his passion of baking cakes for more than 40 years and has owned his own bakery, now called Masterpiece Cakeshop, for more than 20 years. He doesn’t bake cakes for Halloween and doesn’t open on Sundays out of religious conviction.
Charlie Craig and David Mullins came to the Masterpiece Cakeshop in July 2012 and asked for a cake for their same-sex wedding ceremony. Phillips declined, citing his religious conviction.
Craig and Mullins filed a complaint and teamed up with the ACLU to take on Phillips and his cake shop.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled in May 2014 that Phillips must make cakes for same-sex ceremonies or face legal consequences. On top of that, Phillips and his staff must take re-education classes and file quarterly compliance reports for two years.
“We’re just thrilled by that,” Mullins told The Associated Press regarding the decision.
While he awaits his appeal, Tedesco said Phillips has stopped baking cakes altogether out of fear that he’ll be targeted by someone seeking a cake celebrating same-sex marriage.
Tedesco points out that Phillips is happy to serve gay customers but won’t bake cakes or write messages on his cakes that go against his beliefs.
Religious rights advocates claim the Colorado Civil Rights Commission has a double standard on the issue. A Christian Colorado man went into three bakeries and asked that they make cakes with Bible verses against homosexuality. They refused, but the Commission ruled against the Christian man.
Last week a judge ruled that an Oregon couple that refused to bake a cake for a same-sex ceremony must pay the lesbian couple $135,000, just another of a handful of similar cases across the country, one of which is expected to make it to the Supreme Court, according to Tedesco.
“My hope is that these stories of injustice will help people to understand that compulsion and coercion are never the answer,” Tedesco told TheDCNF.
The ACLU did not respond to request for comment in time for publication.
“I think the more we start to look like Europe and the rest of the countries that have gone so far down the leftist agenda, economically, socially, politically, what makes us distinct?” Tedesco told TheDCNF. “What makes us distinct is our economic, political, religious freedom.”
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