Court Hears Discrimination Case Over Wedding Cake
A Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony should not be forced to violate his religious beliefs, his attorney told a judge deciding whether the cake-maker should be made to accommodate gay couples. But an attorney representing a gay couple countered Wednesday that the baker’s faith doesn’t give him a right to discriminate.
At issue in the complaint from David Mullins and Charlie Craig against Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver is whether religious freedom can protect a business from discrimination allegations from gay couples.
Mullins and Craig wanted to buy a cake last year, but when one of the shop owners, Jack Phillips, found out the cake was to celebrate a gay wedding, he turned the couple of away and cited his religious faith.
"(His) faith, whatever it may have to say about marriage for same-sex couples or the expressive power of a wedding cake, does not give the respondents a license to discriminate," Amanda Goad, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told an administrative judge in Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission.
Phillips’ attorney, Nicolle Martin, said her client shouldn’t be forced to ignore his Christian faith while running the business he’s had for nearly 40 years. She said Phillips feels "privileged to design and create the cakes that celebrate the joyous events of people’s lives."
"He believes this is a vocation chosen for him by God, and as a man of God, Jack Phillips lives by certain biblical principles," Martin said.