DENVER — A Christian baker in Colorado has appealed an order requiring him to provide service for “gay weddings” despite his biblical beliefs not to be a partaker in other men’s sins. (1 Timothy 5:22)
As previously reported, in August, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld a lower court order against baker Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cake Shop, asserting that providing the cake for the ceremony does not equal an endorsement of same-sex nuptials.
“Nothing in the record supports the conclusion that a reasonable observer would interpret Masterpiece’s providing a wedding cake for a same-sex couple as an endorsement of same-sex marriage rather than a reflection of its desire to conduct business in accordance with Colorado’s public accommodations law,” it ruled.
Through his attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Phillips has now filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court, contending that he does not accept orders for cakes that violate his Christian faith in other matters, and so the issue of homosexuality should not be an exception.
“Phillips … honors God through his creative work by declining to use his artistic talents to design and create cakes that violate his religious beliefs,” the petition states. “This includes cakes with offensive written messages and cakes celebrating events or ideas that violate his beliefs, including cakes celebrating Halloween, anti-American or anti-family themes, atheism, racism or indecency.”
“He also will not create cakes with hateful, vulgar, or profane messages, or sell any products containing alcohol,” it continues. “Consistent with this longtime practice, Phillips also will not create cakes celebrating any marriage that is contrary to biblical teaching….”
“The freedom to live and work consistently with one’s faith is at the heart of what it means to be an American,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco in a statement. “We are asking the Colorado Supreme Court to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living.”
As previously reported, Dave Mullin and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colorado in July 2012 to look for options for their upcoming same-sex ceremony celebration. As Colorado has a constitutional amendment enshrining marriage as being between a man and a woman, the men planned to travel to Massachusetts and then return to Colorado for a separate celebration.
However, after their arrival at the cake shop, Mullin and Craig were advised by Phillips that he does not make cakes for same-sex ceremonies.
“My first comment was, ‘We’re getting married,’ and he just shut that down immediately,” Craig stated.
Phillips told Christian News Network that he does not make cakes for such occasions because of his Christian convictions.
“I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, and I believe that the relationship is not something that He looks favorably on,” the master pastry chef stated. “If Jesus was a carpenter, He wouldn’t make a bed for this union.”
Phillips, who attends a Baptist church, explained that when he informed Mullin and Craig that his bakery does not make cakes for same-sex “weddings,” the men immediately left. He stated that one of them made a comment on his way out the door that the bakery was a “homophobic cake shop.”
Phillips said that he told the men that he would be happy to make them any other type of baked goods outside of having to facilitate the ceremony, which he believed was a form of personal participation.
However, Mullin and Craig filed charges with the Colorado Human Rights Commission with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and in December 2013, Judge Robert Spencer sided with the ACLU, contending that Phillips should have made the cake because he was not told that there would be any words or symbols written on it.
In May of last year, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission upheld Spencer’s ruling, stating that Phillips violated the state’s civil rights law.