The Supreme Court is expected to decide very soon whether to hear the case of a Christian bakery owner who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Jack Phillips, who owned Masterpiece Cakeshop, a Colorado bakery, was catapulted into controversy after he refused to bake a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a gay couple. Phillips cited his religious beliefs as the reason for his refusal.
Fox News reports that Craig and Mullins filed a complaint against Phillips through the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which decided against Phillips and his business.
Phillips was ordered by the Commission to change his company’s policies and to provide employee training on discrimination. He was also required to provide quarterly reports for the next two years on his compliance with the Commission’s orders.
After the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the Commission’s decision and the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the case, Phillips appealed his case to the Supreme Court, arguing that the lower court’s decision violated his free speech and free exercise of religion rights, as outlined in the First Amendment.
Some experts believe Phillips has a strong case based on his free speech and free exercise argument.
“Whether it’s a photographer, or a cake maker, or a t-shirt designer,” said John Eastman, professor and former dean at Chapman University’s School of Law, “they’re engaged in expressive activity.” In fact, added Eastman, in the case of “t-shirts or language on a cake, it’s actual speech.”
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: June 1, 2017