How is a Colorado Baker Coping With an Order to Bake Cakes for Same-Sex Weddings

jack-phillipsChristian owners of small businesses are increasingly finding themselves targeted by the legal system for declining to provide services for same-sex weddings. How do they respond when the state takes away their religious freedom and threatens their business? For baker and evangelical Christian Jack Phillips, the question is far from theoretical.

In July 2012, Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., declined to bake a rainbow-themed wedding cake for a same-sex wedding — although he told the two men he could make any other type of cake for them and they easily found another baker to make the cake for them. Colorado did not recognize same-sex marriage at that time, but the men still filed a complaint against him with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In December 2013 — even though Phillips had violated no law — an administrative law judge ruled against him, requiring him and his staff to undergo re-education training and file quarterly compliance reports for two years. One member of the commission actually likened his religious objection to slave owners and perpetrators of the Holocaust.

The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the decision against Phillips last August. Represented by lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), he appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court, but in April, the court declined to accept the case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig. The chief justice and another justice would have taken the case but were outvoted. The ADF says  it is “evaluating all legal options to preserve this freedom for Jack.”

Read the rest of the article at The Stream

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