Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Description:  Two men filed a complaint with the state of Colorado after they asked cake artist Jack Phillips to design 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 design a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.

Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips receives ‘Courage in the Face of Power’ Award

ADF client in Supreme Court case honored at Weyrich 2017 Awards Dinner
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WASHINGTON – Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips received the 2017 “Courage in the Face of Power: Daniel Award” Tuesday at the Weyrich Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. The Weyrich organization presents the award annually to people who have demonstrated extraordinary courage despite significant opposition from those in power. Previous recipients include Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson.

In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case now at the U.S. Supreme Court, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Phillips and his family cake shop. He has been fighting for his religious and artistic freedom ever since the commission, acting on a complaint filed by a same-sex couple whom the American Civil Liberties Union represents, ruled that a state law could force him to design custom artistic expression contrary to his faith.

“Jack is a humble and worthy recipient of this honor,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who will argue before the high court on behalf of Phillips and his shop. “Artists and other creative professionals should be able to peacefully live and work according to their beliefs without fear of punishment by the government. Jack has taken a brave stand for that principle, both for himself and for artists everywhere, even enduring death threats and sacrificing 40 percent of his business because the state won’t let him design any wedding cakes if he won’t design them for same-sex weddings.”

“Regardless of one’s view on marriage, all Americans should support Jack,” Waggoner added. “To have First Amendment freedoms for ourselves, we must respect those same freedoms for people with whom we disagree on important issues.”

“Staying true to my faith as a Christian has resulted in significant loss to my business, death threats, slander, and being compared to some of the most unimaginable things,” said Phillips at Tuesday’s award ceremony. “Not a day goes by where I don’t thank the Lord for his protection over me and my family.”

But Phillips added that “this case is not just about me—Jack’s freedom—but the freedom of all Americans to be able to peacefully speak, live, and work according to our faith and deepest convictions without fear of being punished by the government.... If we are to lose this most basic right, this fundamental component to who we are as a people, as a nation, what is to come?” (#JusticeForJack)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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Additional resources: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Previous news releases:

  • 2017-09-08: US, 20 states, 479 creative professionals join others to support artistic, religious freedom at Supreme Court
  • 2017-09-06: Cake, floral artists to join members of Congress at news conference Thursday
  • 2017-08-31: Cake artist to Supreme Court: Affirm artistic freedom, free speech
  • 2017-06-26: US Supreme Court agrees to weigh in on Colorado cake artist’s freedom
  • 2016-07-22: Colorado cake artist asks US Supreme Court to protect his freedom of expression
  • 2016-04-25: Colo. cake artist weighing all options after state high court declines to take case
  • 2015-10-23: Cake artist asks Colo. Supreme Court to affirm his freedom of expression
  • 2015-08-13: Colo. court lets government punishment of cake artist stand, rejects his First Amendment freedoms
  • 2015-04-06: Colo. Civil Rights Commission issues inconsistent cake artist decisions
  • 2015-04-01: Colo. cake artist exemplifies need for state laws protecting religious freedom
  • 2015-01-23: ADF: Don’t force cake artist who supports same-sex marriage to speak against her beliefs
  • 2015-01-12: Revealed: Colo. commissioner compared cake artist to Nazi
  • 2014-07-17: Colo. cake artist appeals govt ‘re-education’ order
  • 2014-05-30: Colo. cake artist considering appeal of Civil Rights Commission decision
  • 2014-05-30: Artistic expression at stake in Colo. cake artist case
  • 2014-01-06: Cake artists are citizens, not government servants
  • 2013-12-06: Colo. court denies baker’s freedom in same-sex ceremony suit
  • 2013-12-03: ADF: Colo. cake artist shouldn’t be forced to support same-sex ceremonies

  • James Gottry: Bakers should be allowed to have their cake—and their freedom (The Hill, 2017-10-13)
  • Michael Farris: Masterpiece Cakeshop’s case is about artistic freedom, not discrimination (Washington Post, 2017-09-25)
  • James Gottry: Christian artists should have the same free speech game as Colin Kaepernick (The Federalist, 2017-08-30)
  • Jonathan Scruggs: Masterpiece Cakeshop: Can the state force us to agree with its views? (National Review, 2017-08-28)
  • Andreas Thonhauser: A luta de um confeiteiro pela liberdade interessa a todos (Gazeta do Povo, 2017-08-22)
  • Jonathan Scruggs: Google memos and pro-Trump cakes: When free speech values collide (The Hill, 2017-08-09)
  • Samuel Green: Freedom for Christian cake artist is freedom for all, even same-sex marriage backers (The Hill, 2017-07-18)
  • Jim Campbell: The Supreme Court puts a baker’s business—and artistic freedom—on the line (Washington Post, 2017-06-28)
  • James Gottry: U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether government can be the Cake Boss (Denver Post, 2017-06-26)
  • Jim Campbell: Arguments separating fashion designers from other artists aren’t worthy of the runway (National Review, 2017-01-23)
  • Samuel Green: Religious freedom under attack in Colorado (Washington Examiner, 2016-10-12)
  • Jack Phillips: Why I’m asking the U.S. Supreme Court to protect artistic freedom (Denver Post, 2016-07-22)
  • Jeremy Tedesco: Everyone should be able to have their First Amendment cake & eat it too (Religion News Service, 2015-01-29)

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