The Colorado Civil Rights Division is telling a Lakewood, Colorado, baker he must violate his faith and create “wedding” cakes for same-sex duos, even though the state doesn’t recognize such unions.
The ruling came Friday from the state agency board in a dispute between Jack Phillips, a Christian baker who runs Masterpiece bakery, and two homosexuals for whom he declined to create a cake in 2012.
Colorado’s constitution doesn’t recognize “same-sex marriage,” and attorneys representing Phillips said the decision is a step too far.
“The government … seek[s] to impose a new belief system upon Jack [Phillips], one that is fundamentally at odds with his conscience and his liberty,” explained a legal filing from attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom representing Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakes in Lakewood.
Two homosexuals filed the complaint after Phillips declined to provide them with a “wedding” cake. Phillips offered to provide other products but, citing his own Christian beliefs, declined to produce a message on a wedding cake that conflicted with his faith.
Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer, however, earlier ordered Phillips, on pain of fines or even jail time, to violate his faith and provide the wedding cake to homosexuals Charlie Craig and David Mullins.
ADF appealed the “erroneous” ruling, filing a petition for review to the commission.
But the commission on Friday upheld the administrative judge’s opinion, rejecting ADF contentions that Spencer, under the state’s court rules of procedure, should have dismissed the complaint.
The notice argues Phillips “did not discriminate ‘because of’ sexual orientation” but acted “in accordance with the provisions of the Colorado Constitution, state law and the public policy of the state.”
Phillips’ “conduct and expressions in declining to design and create a wedding cake are protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and by Article II, Section 10 of the Colorado Constitution,” ADF stated.
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