A US cake artist will appeal a court decision which ruled he was wrong for denying a customer asking him to design a cake celebrating a gender transition.
Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, had told the Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday that making such a cake would violate his Christian beliefs.
ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner who argued on behalf of Phillips said: “Free speech is for everyone. No one should be forced to express a message that violates their core beliefs”.
This case comes after a US Supreme Court victory for Phillips in 2018 in which the court ruled that the state of Colorado was wrong for ruling that he had to create a custom cake celebrating a same-sex wedding.
ADF said Phillips’ current case from an activist attorney calling Masterpiece Cakeshop to ask that Phillips create a cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside that would represent and celebrate a gender transition.
The attorney then called back, requesting another cake portraying Satan smoking marijuana to “correct the errors of [Phillips’] thinking.”
The orders were requested on the same day the US Supreme Court announced that it would hear Phillips’ same-sex wedding cake case.
The cake designer rejected the orders, saying the cakes would “violate his core beliefs”. That’s when the activist then filed the current lawsuit.
Warner added: “Over a decade ago, Colorado officials began targeting Jack, misusing state law to force him to say things he does not believe. Then an activist attorney continued that crusade. This cruelty must stop. One need not agree with Jack’s views to agree that all Americans should be free to say what they believe, even if the government disagrees with those beliefs.
“The same law being used to punish Jack is also at issue now at the U.S. Supreme Court in 303 Creative v. Elenis. The court there should reject Colorado’s attempt to mandate orthodoxy and drive views it disfavors from the public square and affirm that graphic artist Lorie Smith and all artists—writers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, calligraphers, cake artists, and more—have the right to create freely without fear of government punishment. Cultural winds may shift, but freedom of speech is foundational to our self-government and to the free and fearless pursuit of truth.”
Phillips maintains he doesn’t not discriminate against customers as individuals, but will not agree to take on an order with a message that goes against his biblical beliefs.