The U.S. Supreme Court has picked Dec. 5 to hear arguments in the case of a Colorado baker who was accused of violating a state regulation by refusing to promote a same-sex “wedding” with his artistry.
In Colorado, it was a biased Civil Rights Commission that ordered Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop to provide his customized wedding cakes to same-sex duos if he provided them to anyone. He also was told to undergo state-mandated, homosexual-rights thought training and take his staff with him.
A member of the state’s Civil Rights Commission, Diann Rice, publicly exhibited bias against him during a hearing, comparing him to a Nazi.
“I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing or the last meeting,” Rice said during consideration of Phillips’ case. “Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust, whether it be – I mean, we – we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to – to use their religion to hurt others.”
Hear a recording of Rice’s statement:
It was the same state commission that ruled homosexual bakers can legitimately refuse to create a cake with a Bible verse that condemns homosexuality, arguing it offends their beliefs.
Phillips contends he is protected by the First Amendment right to speak freely and to exercise his religious beliefs.
In a friend-of-the-court brief, the U.S. government comes to his defense, arguing the making of a wedding cake is a form of expression protected by the Constitution.
“When Phillips designs and creates a custom wedding cake for a specific couple and a specific wedding, he plays an active role in enabling that ritual, and he associates himself with the celebratory message conveyed,” the brief points out.
The Colorado law, therefore, by forcing Phillips “to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs,” intrudes on his First Amendment rights.
Colorado, the federal government argues, “has not offered, and could not reasonably offer, a sufficient justification” to force Phillips to makes such an expression.
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SOURCE: WND.com, Bob Unruh