ADF: Colo. cake artist shouldn’t be forced to support same-sex ceremonies
WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys
WHAT: Available for media interviews following hearing in Craig v. Masterpiece Cakeshop
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 4, immediately following hearing which begins at 9 a.m. MDT
WHERE: Office of Administrative Court, 1525 Sherman St., 4th Floor, Denver
DENVER — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys will be available for media interviews following a court hearing Wednesday in the case of a Lakewood, Colo. cake artist who declined to use his creative abilities to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony.
“Every artist must be free to create work that expresses what he or she believes and not be forced to express contrary views. A government that can force people to promote messages against their will is a government that everyone should fear,” said lead counsel Nicolle Martin, who will argue before the court on behalf of the cake artist. Martin is one of nearly 2,300 attorneys allied with Alliance Defending Freedom.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Natalie Decker, co-counsel for Masterpiece Cakeshop, will also be available for interviews following the hearing, which concerns both parties’ summary judgment motions. A summary judgment motion asks the court to rule in a party’s favor sooner rather than later based on certain undisputed facts.
In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to design a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not design a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, represented by attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop without comment and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
“Jack did not discriminate because of sexual orientation, as is required for a finding of sexual orientation discrimination…,” the summary judgment brief filed in the case explains. “The Government is unconstitutionally attempting to force Jack to violate his sincerely held religious beliefs and to compel him to speak a message that is contrary to his actual beliefs.”
“Jack was more than willing to create baked goods for the two men regardless of their sexual preferences,” Decker explained. “However, his Christian faith prevented him from promoting, facilitating, or participating in a same-sex ceremony of this kind. He shouldn’t be forced to violate his Christian faith, especially when the Colorado Constitution defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The government’s efforts to force a person to violate his faith and disregard state law strikes at the very heart of the protections the First Amendment and the Colorado Constitution both provide.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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