Christian Baker Asks State Supreme Court to Affirm 1st Amendment

April 22, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A fundamental understanding of America's First Amendment is that the government cannot prevent an individual from saying what he, or she, wants.

Outside, of course, the a few instances of threats and such where speech is not protected.

It also is fundamental that the government cannot force an individual to express an idea that is the government's, and that opposes the beliefs of the individual.

That was affirmed by the Supreme Court specifically in the California case regarding pro-life pregnancy centers that refused a state requirement that they refer women to abortion businesses.

The Supreme Court affirmed their right to refuse.

Now a fight is coming before the Colorado State Supreme Court that has similar facts.

Lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom who are representing Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop filed a petition asking the court to affirm Phillips' First Amendment rights.

They are challenging a ruling from a state appeals court that would force Phillips to express messages that violate his beliefs.

"Free speech is for everyone. No one should be forced to express a message that violates their core beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner. “Over a decade ago, Colorado officials began targeting Jack, misusing state law to force him to create art celebrating messages he does not believe. Then an activist attorney continued that crusade. This cruelty must stop. One need not agree with Jack’s views to agree that no American should be compelled to express what they don’t believe.”

Warner continued, "The same law being used to punish Jack is also at issue now at the U.S. Supreme Court in 303 Creative v. Elenis. The court there should reject Colorado’s attempt to drive views it disfavors from the public square and affirm that graphic artist Lorie Smith and all artists—writers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, calligraphers, cake artists, and more—have the right to create freely without fear of government punishment. Cultural winds may shift, but freedom of speech is foundational to our self-government and to the free and fearless pursuit of truth."

The current fight is over a demand from a transgender lawyer that Phillips create a cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside, to celebrate a "gender transition."

The lawyer also asked for a cake depicting Satan smoking marijuana.

Phillips declined both requests.

He explained while he works with all people he always decides whether to take a project based on what message a cake expresses.

In the petition filed in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop, ADF attorneys explain that "Phillips has been in court over a decade defending his right—and the right of all Americans—to create freely. And he’s faced hostility at nearly every turn. People of faith—like anyone else—should be ‘fully welcome in Colorado’s business community.’ They should not be forced to choose between their faith and their art. Protecting Phillips here will keep Colorado diverse and free for all."

The current case was brought by Autumn Scardina, the lawyer, who demanded the requests should force Phillips to change his beliefs.

Phillips originally was sued over his decision not to promote same-sex marriage by specially creating a cake for a same-sex wedding. That fight went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the state of Colorado was handed a tongue-lashing for its open "hostility" to the Christian faith.

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