A family bakery owned by a Christian cannot refuse to make wedding cakes for homosexual couples, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
The court affirmed the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s order that Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act when he refused to make a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins.
“CADA prohibits places of public accommodations from basing their refusal to serve customers on their sexual orientation, and Masterpiece violated Colorado’s public accommodations law by refusing to create a wedding cake for Craig’s and Mullins’ same-sex wedding celebration,” the court wrote.
When all is said and done – Jack Phillips does not answer to the Colorado Court of Appeals. He answers to a Higher Power.
Jack, a devout Christian who honors God through his baking, had argued that he could not participate in same-sex ceremonies because it would violate his religious beliefs. The appeals court ruled otherwise.
“By selling a wedding cake to a same-sex couple, Masterpiece does not necessarily lead an observer to conclude that the bakery supports its customer’s conduct,” the court wrote in its ruling.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases, represented Phillips. They argue that the court is denying their client his fundamental freedoms.
“Jack simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic talents to promote a message with which he disagrees,” ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco said. “Government has a duty to protect people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally rather than force them to adopt the government’s views.”
I spoke to Jack on Thursday just moments after the court ruling was handed down. He remains steadfast in his Christian faith.
“The court’s ruling is not fair,” he said. “It shows that some people have more equal rights than others. When you’re not in line with the same-sex agenda, you don’t have as much equal rights.”
As it stands – Jack will be required by the government to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples. If he denies anyone service, he will be required to explain why. He is also expected to retrain his staff in the state’s anti-discrimination policies – including his 88-year-old mother.
It sounds like the government wants to round up Phillips and his staff and haul them to a reeducation camp – where they can be purged of the religious beliefs that offend the LGBT community.
“My mom is on my staff and she said she will not be retrained,” he defiantly said. “And I’m not going to make same-sex wedding cakes.”
Jack stopped making all wedding cakes last year – but one day he hopes to resume his passion.
“I would like that to be my choice and not the government telling me which ones I can do and which ones I can’t,” he said.
Jack said Christian business owners are under attack – especially those providing goods and services to the wedding industry.
“A lot of Christians are under attack – bakers and florists, wedding chapels,” he said.
Jack came under attack in 2012 when he declined to make a cake for Craig and Mullins. There were plenty of bakeries that would have provided the cake – but for whatever reason – they targeted Masterpiece Cakeshop.
According to the court documents, Jack offered to make them any other baked goods – including cakes. But that wasn’t good enough for the gay couple. They demanded that he make a wedding cake.
And when Jack refused – they filed discrimination charges – leading to a long court battle.
If you Google Jack’s name – you’ll find that many of the LGBT bullies and their minions have smeared his good name. He’s been called all sorts of things – from homophobic to a right-wing bigot.
But in reality he’s none of those things.
There was one item that I found particular interesting in the appeals court ruling. Apparently an administrative law judge had been investigating Phillips’ spiritual life. Here’s the verbatim quote:
“The ALJ found that Phillips had been a Christian for approximately thirty-five years and believes in Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior. Phillips believes that decorating cakes is a form of art, that he can honor God through his artistic talents, and that he would displease God by creating cakes for same-sex marriages.”
I suppose the LGBT bullies and their minions might call that paragraph the “smoking gun.”
And in a way it is – it exposes the heart of this good-natured man.
“I’m a man who is devoted to following Jesus Christ,” he told me. “He’s the one that’s in charge of all this.”
And when all is said and done – Jack Phillips does not answer to the Colorado Court of Appeals. He answers to a Higher Power.
“It’s not up to the courts to decide what marriage is,” he said. “It’s up to God to decide that. If we are living in obedience to Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Bible we are on the right side of history – no matter what they say.”
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values." Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.