The Department of Justice has sided with the owner of a Colorado baking company who refused to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple.
Last week, the DOJ sent an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, saying that the business should not be forced to accept a cake order for a gay couple if it goes against the owner’s religious beliefs. The 27-page document sent to the highest court argued why Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, would not bake a wedding cake for the couple.
“Phillips is a Christian who seeks to incorporate his religious principles into all facets of his business. To that end, for example, he closes Masterpiece on Sundays, refuses to sell goods containing alcohol, and chooses not to create or sell goods relating to Halloween,” the brief said.
Phillips, a devout Christian, would not bake a wedding cake to honor the same-sex marriage. However, the DOJ’s letter stated that Phillips offered to make the couple any other type of cake or baked goods.
“Forcing Phillips to create an expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” the brief said.
The Justice Department under President Trump’s leadership explained that the wedding cake process for Phillips is an honor he takes seriously. Philips considers the process as art. He will meet with the couple, learn their personalities, preferences, and ceremony arrangements. After the first consultation, he then sculpts a model for the customer and makes a series of changes based on their feedback. Lastly, for wedding cake orders he will deliver it to the site of the ceremony.
“Given that understanding of his work, Phillips will not design and create a custom wedding cake for a celebration of a union that conflicts with his religious beliefs,” the brief said.
Democrats have shamed the DOJ for supporting the small business owner’s decision, saying that the department is supporting discrimination.
In 2015, the state of Colorado sided with the same-sex couple, and the courts ruled that Phillips violated the law by discriminating based on sexual orientation. Phillips appealed the decision, and the case has now reached the highest court. The Supreme Court will review the case this fall.