The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday refused to review Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig, a case featuring a religious wedding cake baker who was punished for declining to service a same-sex wedding celebration.
Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who represents Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, said the firm is “evaluating all legal options” in the case.
“We asked the Colorado Supreme Court to take this case to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living,” Mr. Tedesco said in a press release.
“Jack, who has happily served people of all backgrounds for years, simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic talents to promote a message and event with which he disagrees, and that freedom should not be placed in jeopardy for anyone,” he said.
Mr. Phillips in 2012 declined to service the wedding celebration of same-sex couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig. The couple planned to marry in Massachusetts — as same-sex marriage did not become legal in Colorado until 2014 — and then hold a celebration with family and friends in Colorado.
The couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after Mr. Phillips declined to cater the event. The commission ordered Mr. Phillips to revise his business practices, conduct comprehensive staff re-education and file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years.
Mr. Phillips said he is happy to sell gay people baked goods that do not promote messages he disagrees with. He said he declines to make cakes that promote a wide variety of ideas that run contrary to his beliefs, not just those pertaining to same-sex marriage.
“It’s not just the cakes for the same-sex weddings — I haven’t singled out that one issue as something that I won’t do,” he said in a video distributed by ADF. “I also don’t make cakes for bachelor parties. I don’t make Halloween cakes or anything involving witchcraft or demons. Sometimes it seems like I’ve turn down more cakes in a day than I’ve taken orders for.”
Mr. Phillips has stopped making wedding cakes entirely while the case is being litigated.
The Colorado Court of Appeals in 2015 affirmed the Civil Rights Commission’s finding, ruling that declining to service same-sex wedding ceremonies violates Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act.