DENVER, Co. — The Colorado Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of a baker who was ordered to make a cake for an event celebrating the union of two homosexual men, allowing the lower court’s order to stand.
“Upon consideration of the Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Colorado Court of Appeals and after review of the record, briefs, and the judgment of said Court of Appeals, it is ordered that said Petition for Writ of Certiorari shall be, and the same hereby is denied,” it wrote in a brief order.
Two of the court’s seven judges said they would have accepted the case on religious freedom grounds.
As previously reported, last 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 event 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.
In May, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had upheld a ruling by Judge Robert Spencer, who contended that Phillips should have made the cake because he was not told that there would be any words or symbols written on it.
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. But Mullin and Craig complained to the Colorado Human Rights Commission with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and have prevailed in their case ever since.
“We all have a right to our personal beliefs, but we do not have a right to impose those beliefs on others and discriminate against them,” ACLU attorney Ria Tabacco Mar said in a statement on Monday. “We hope today’s win will serve as a lesson for others that equality and fairness should be our guiding principles and that discrimination has no place at the table, or the bakery as the case may be.”
But Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represented Phillips in court, said that moral convictions are useless if they can’t be lived out.
“We asked the Colorado Supreme Court to take this case 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,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco in a statement.
“Jack, who has happily served people of all backgrounds for years, simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic talents to promote a message and event with which he disagrees, and that freedom shouldn’t be placed in jeopardy for anyone,” he continued. “We are evaluating all legal options to preserve this freedom for Jack.”