A Colorado baker argues that a law requiring that he bake cakes for same-sex couples takes away from his artistic expression. On Monday, June 26, The US Supreme Court announced that it would hear the baker’s arguments in the highest court in the land.
The baker, Jack Phillips of Denver, Colorado, argues that he did not turn the gay couple away for a wedding cake in 2012 because the couple was gay, but rather because making a cake for the couple would violate Phillip’s protected religious rights. Phillips argues that bakers, as artists, should not be forced to create works that violate their religious convictions. Phillip’s lawyer added that he wouldn’t even make Halloween cakes due to his religious convictions.
The gay couple involved in the case are surprised that a social media post from five years ago is now on its way to the nation’s highest judicial board. Charlie Craig and David Mullins married in 2012 in Massachusetts and wanted to have their reception in Colorado where gay marriage was illegal at the time. The couple says they were deeply hurt by Phillip’s refusal to make their cake.
Though a potentially landmark Supreme Court decision is expected in the outcome, it all started with a post to Facebook. Craig and Mullins are proud of the attention their case has garnered and hope for an outcome in their favor. Mullins stated that gays and lesbians “deserve to receive equal service in places of public accommodation.”
Phillips is not the only one challenging their legal rights. Approximately a half-dozen of other bakers and artists are challenging similar state laws to force them to make cakes for same-sex couples.
This isn’t the first case involving bakers and same-sex couples to make it to the US Supreme Court, not even the second. In every case, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor to the plaintiffs and against the bakers.
The new challenges to discrimination laws come with a different message challenging an artistic point or view and a new judge on the Supreme Court bench. Whether those two factors swing the court in favor of the bakers only time will tell.