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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC) along with the North Carolina Values Coalition have submitted a joint amicus brief in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. This case arose when Masterpiece Cakeshops' owner, Jack Phillips, was sued after respectfully declining to decorate a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex ceremony.
In the amicus brief, the groups argue:
“[T]he Constitution broadly guarantees liberty of religion and conscience to citizens who participate in public life according to their moral, ethical, and religious convictions.
Yet, “Colorado refuses to tolerate citizens who disagree with the state-sanctioned view of marriage,” as the state “uses its anti-discrimination laws to impose crippling penalties on entrepreneurs who refuse to set aside conscience and create visual artwork that violates the owners’ faith and conscience.”
Contrary to ideals it purports to advance, “by demanding uniformity of thought, belief, speech, and action concerning the nature of marriage” and “by silencing one side of a hotly contested issue,” the state of Colorado “promotes intolerance, uniformity, exclusion, and inequality… The result is an unconscionable inequality were people who hold traditional marriage beliefs are excluded from owning a public business. All of this is anathema to the First Amendment.”
Travis Weber, Esq., Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, commented:
"To understand the issue at the center of this case people first need to know that Jack Phillips, for over twenty years, happily served thousands without regard to their sexual orientation. Phillips gladly offered to make any other type of baked item for the customers in this case, but explained that he could not in good conscience make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony.”
"The Court should take this opportunity to settle the question of whether states can coerce people of faith into wedding-related practices with which they disagree. The answer to that question should be an obvious ‘no’ and we hope the Court makes this clear by strongly affirming that all Americans’ First Amendment free speech and free exercise rights are protected against such state coercion," Weber commented.
To review the full amicus brief, please see: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF17I12.pdf