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Anti-Gay Cake Baker Is Now Being Defended By The Department Of Justice

Anti-Gay Cake Baker Is Now Being Defended By The Department Of Justice
8 months ago

You probably don't remember the name Jack Phillips, but you remember the controversy surrounding him: he's the wedding cake baker who, in 2012, refused to serve a same-sex couple because their wedding was against his religious beliefs. The state of Colorado eventually ruled that he had broken their anti-discrimination laws, but he appealed the ruling all the way up to the Supreme Court (who refused to hear the case 11 times before finally reversing course in June).

But Mr. Phillips has gained an unlikely ally: the U.S. Department of Justice. 

The Justice Department, now being run by an administration with very different opinions on the LGBTQ community than the last one, issued a statement on Phillips' behalf, saying:

Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights.

The ACLU caused the DOJ's actions “nothing short of shocking.” In almost all cases, courts have agreed that baking cakes isn't an adequate form of self-expression to justify invoking one's first amendment rights, even less so when those cakes are being made as part of a business. First amendment rights don't apply the same way to commercial products as they do to, say, a painting or novel.

When the Supreme Court agreed to hear his case, Phillips made a statement defending his position:

I’ve always had to operate my cake shop in a manner that honors God. I gladly welcome and serve everyone who comes into my shop, and would sell anyone any pre-made baked goods. I’m closed on Sundays. I don’t take orders for cakes with messages or designs commemorating events or ideas in conflict with my beliefs, including messages that are anti-American, celebrate atheism, racism, or indecency.

Phillips says the publicity caused by his discrimination has been devastating to his business, causing his sales to drop by 40%. His website no longer takes custom cake orders. Some people's response: good.