- Associated Press - Thursday, July 17, 2014

DENVER (AP) - A suburban Denver baker has appealed an order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that requires him to prepare wedding cakes for gay couples.

Jack Phillips on Wednesday asked the Court of Appeals to reverse the May ruling by the commission.

Phillips was sued by a gay couple after he refused to make a cake to celebrate their marriage in 2012. Phillips has said he is deeply religious and that making the cake would violate the Christian principles by which he runs his Lakewood business, Masterpiece Cake Shop.

An administrative law judge ruled against Phillips and the commission upheld that decision, finding that Phillips’ refusal violated the state’s public accommodation law that requires businesses to serve customers regardless of their sexual orientation.

Phillips’ attorneys argue that decision violates Phillips’ First Amendment rights.

The case is one of a handful in which private businesses were sued for refusing to serve gay couples getting married, and it helped spark controversial proposals in several states to let businesses refuse service based on owners’ religious beliefs.

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