- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 16, 2015

DENVER — Supporters of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help cover his expenses as he fights an order stemming from his refusal to make a cake for a gay wedding.

The campaign, “Support Jack Phillips” on the crowdfunding website Continue to Give, began after the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday against Mr. Phillips’ challenge of a state civil rights commission order, which said he must provide wedding cakes for same-sex ceremonies if he does so for traditional ones.

The crowdfunding page’s goal is $200,000, and, as of late Sunday, the campaign had raised about $2,000.

Mr. Phillips has said revenue at his bakery dropped about 40 percent after he stopped making wedding cakes entirely while his case is litigated.

He declined to provide a wedding cake for a gay couple in July 2012, citing his Christian beliefs, after which the bakery in Lakewood, Colorado, became the target of protests and angry phone calls.

“The calls were so vile, Jack would not allow the employees to answer the phone for weeks. The second day, a caller threatened to kill Jack as well as anyone in the bakery,” said the Continue to Give write-up.

“These attacks are intended to drive Jack out of business,” the page says. “To avoid further harassment and lawsuits and, because of the ruling, he has chosen to follow a law that takes away his freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and he has stopped making wedding cakes while his case goes through the courts.”

Another Christian-owned bakery, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, has raised nearly $400,000 on Continue to Give after previous crowdfunding efforts on the owners’ behalf were booted from GoFundMe.

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that creating a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony did not infringe on Mr. Phillips’ First Amendment rights but did violate state anti-discrimination law.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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