Home » Colorado Baker Jack Phillips Threatened with Jail for Not Baking Cakes for Same-sex Weddings
A few days ago, I wrote an article about Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, being court ordered by Judge Robert N. Spencer to bake cakes for same-sex marriage, in violation of his own religious beliefs. According to Breibart.com, Phillips now faces up to 12 months in jail if he refuses to bake cakes, in the future, for same-sex marriages. Phillips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, refused service to same-sex couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, on the grounds that it is his Christian belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. Even Colorado law recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman but does recognize the “civil union” of same-sex couples. Many who read the article wanted to know the judge’s stance in order to rule on the case.
Ken Klukowski reports for Breitbart.com:
Phillips is an Evangelical Christian who holds to the belief that marriage is between a man and woman. When Phillips bakes a wedding cake, he interprets it as participating in the wedding celebration, and he explained that, therefore, he does not make cakes for gay marriages.
Craig and Mullins complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. On Dec. 6, 2013, an administrative law judge—Robert Spencer—ruled that Masterpiece Cakeshop and Jack Phillips violated Colorado’s antidiscrimination law. Spencer ordered Phillips to bake cakes celebrating gay marriage for any other parties that ask for such a cake in the future.
Spencer readily acknowledged the authenticity of Phillips’s faith, including in his findings of fact:
Phillips has been a Christian for approximately 35 years, and believes in Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior. As a Christian, Phillips’ main goal in life is to be obedient to Jesus and His teachings in all aspects of his life[;] Phillips believes the Bible is the inspired word of God[;] its commands are binding on him[;] God’s intention for marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Relevant to his professional work, Spencer included as a factual finding, “Phillips believes that if he uses his artistic talents to participate in same-sex weddings by creating a wedding cake, he will be displeasing God and acting contrary to the teachings of the Bible.”
Phillips’s lead lawyer is Nicolle Martin, who is representing him pro bono as part of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a network of over 2,000 Christian attorneys nationwide who defend people in their local communities when their religious liberties are violated.
Spencer understands Martin’s argument that Phillips uses his artistic talents to make cakes that convey a message. Phillips is engaging in a form of speech when he makes a cake, and making a gay-marriage cake for these two men would therefore compel him to send a message that his religious conscience cannot allow.
Nonetheless, Spencer held that all this “fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are.”
Here is Judge Spencer’s logic in a nutshell: Yes, it is realized that in using your artistic talent to bake and decorate cakes constitutes a form of free speech and because of your religious conscience, baking a cake for a same-sex couple would be sending a message contradictory to your religious conscience; however, society comes first and the cost to that society and the hurt inflicted upon these people being denied service must be considered before your individual rights.
Does this sound like a court under a government that is supposed to uphold individual rights?
According to this judge, Phillips “does not have the right to follow his Christian faith, or any other religion, when it involves refusing to embrace and celebrate gay marriage, even if there is no legal same-sex marriage in the state where all this happened.”
Under a 2012 Colorado law, Phillips could go to jail for up to 12 months for refusing to violate his Christian faith by not providing service to this same sex couple. That Colorado law has since been repealed, but it is still possible for Phillips to be criminally prosecuted. Phillips continues to refuse to participate in same-sex wedding celebrations even though he understands that he could go to jail for both violating a court order and a now repealed law.
According to Phillip’s lawyer, Nicolle Martin, “American citizens should not have to live in fear of a prison sentence merely for disagreeing with the government’s opinion. All Americans should remain free to honor God in our lives and in our work. The government has no business threatening Americans with jail time for simply exercising their constitutionally-protected freedoms of religion and speech. Every American, whatever you think about this issue, should fear a government that ignores the First Amendment in order to exercise this kind of power over its citizens.”
As I indicated in the last article, Craig and Mullins could have obtained their cake at another bakery, if their sole interest was in celebrating their “marriage.” However, that was not their sole interest. One can’t help but wonder if these two targeted Phillips because it was known he was Christian and had strong Christian beliefs that celebrated marriage as only between one man and one woman. After all, there were plenty of bakeries in Lakewood that probably would have supplied them with a cake for their celebration. Craig and Mullins, along with wanting to celebrate their “marriage” that had taken place in Massachusetts, complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission; they got to celebrate “giving it to that Christian,” as well as their union.
So, here is a prime example of the pseudo-religion of Secular Humanism being held in higher regard than Christianity resulting in one individual’s rights being trampled in favor of the rights of a small group of individuals. It is also an example of an individual’s right to freedom of speech – baking is part of the culinary arts – being removed because of two individuals who didn’t think Phillips had the right to free speech or the freedom to practice his religious beliefs. Because of all of this, Phillips faces jail time based on a 2012 law that has now been repealed.
This is absolute absurdity.
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