Colorado baker faces fines for refusing cakes for same-sex couples.
As same-sex marriage became legal in more and more states and then across America, evangelicals and others with religious objections have worried about their obligations to accommodate same-sex couples. After several state-level disputes involving florists, photographers, pizza makers, and bakers, the nation’s highest court will finally rule on the issue.
On Monday, the US Supreme Court announced it will take on the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which involves a Christian baker defending his decision to turn down wedding cake orders for same-sex couples.
The case exemplifies the tension between upholding religious freedom rights and protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination. Americans are split on the issue; about half (49%) say wedding vendors should be required to serve same-sex couples, while nearly as many (48%) say they should be able to refuse on religious grounds, according to the Pew Research Center.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represents Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop. The Christian religious freedom group argues that as a person of faith and as an artist, he has the right to use discretion in the cake projects he works on—particularly when they violate his religious beliefs.
“Jack’s ability to make a living and run his family business shouldn’t be threatened simply because he exercised his artistic freedom. Artists speak through their art, and when Jack creates custom wedding cakes, he is promoting and celebrating the couple’s wedding,” said ADF senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “He simply can’t put his artistic talents to use on a custom cake for an event so at odds with his faith convictions.” …