A high-profile case before the U.S. Supreme Court will determine how much First Amendment freedom Americans still enjoy.
Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colorado, ran afoul of the state in 2012 when he declined to provide a custom cake for a same-sex “wedding.” The state fined him and required his entire staff to go through LGBT indoctrination classes.
Now, five years later, Masterpiece Cake Shop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Attorney Nate Kellum of the Center for Religious Expression tells OneNewsNow a brief has been filed on behalf of 479 creative professionals, such as bakers and florists, who are backing Phillips’ quest to protect the right of free speech.
“[Freedom of speech] is also the right to refrain from saying something and that is what is at stake here,” Kellum says. “The government in Jack Philips' case is forcing him to say something that he does not want to say. It's forcing him to say something that, in fact, he finds repugnant to his very beliefs — something that would require him to betray his own conscience.”
Unafraid to share his views, Phillips appeared on the left-wing daytime program "The View" in July, where he explained that he refuses to create bawdy bachelor party cakes and demonic images for Halloween cakes.
He refused to create the same-sex wedding cake because he opposed the event, he said, not the customers who ordered it.
Twenty state attorneys general also submitted briefs favoring Phillips, and the Department of Justice has done so as well. Kellum says that is significant.
“It is a case that really represents a watershed moment, not just for the Supreme Court but really for our country,” he says. “[How] this decision comes out next summer will determine [if] we continue to be a country that honors religious freedom, one that respects freedom of conscience.”
A decision against Phillips, Kellum argues, will determine if America becomes a country that allows the government to dictate what people say and how they are to think.