WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear the appeal of a case involving Jack Phillips, a baker who politely declined to create a wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex ceremony because doing so would violate his religious belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Twenty years ago, Phillips started Masterpiece Cakeshop, and since that time has served thousands of customers in Colorado -- without regard to their sexual orientation or anything else. Phillips explained to the customers in this case that he would gladly make any other type of baked item for them but could not in good conscience make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement that it will hear Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission:
“The U.S. Supreme Court now has an opportunity to issue a ruling that makes clear the government has no authority to force Americans like Jack Phillips to use their artistic talents to celebrate events with which they have a moral and/or religious disagreement.
"With Justice Gorsuch now on the bench, we are more optimistic that the Supreme Court will uphold our nation’s long tradition of respecting the freedom of Americans to follow their deeply held beliefs, especially when it comes to participating in activities and ceremonies that so many Americans consider sacred.
“The First Amendment has long protected Americans from being compelled by the government to advocate a message to which one objects. As Americans, our consensus on religious freedom has historically recognized the God-given right of Americans to live all aspects of their lives according to their faith. This is no different today. Attempting to restrict religious conviction to the four walls of a church is not freedom, that is tyranny,” concluded Perkins.
Family Research Council’s Travis Weber, an attorney and Director of our Center for Religious Liberty, added:
“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 observed.