- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple said he’s willing to serve anyone, but said the government shouldn’t force him to create something against his conscience.

Jack Phillips, the baker, is taking his case to the Supreme Court later this year, asking the justices to overturn a lower court ruling that found he violated a same-sex couple’s civil rights by declining to back them a cake.

“I never thought the government would try to take away my freedoms,” said Mr. Phillips. “What the state of Colorado did was force me to lose 40 percent of my business.”

Speaking at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol, Mr. Phillips said he was ordered to either bake wedding cakes for everyone — or bake none at all.

Some 86 members of Congress, all Republicans, have signed onto an amicus brief with the Supreme Court backing Mr. Phillips.

Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, said Mr. Phillip’s case extends far more broadly than religious liberty or LGBT issues.

“This is a compelled-speech case,” Mr. Lee said.

Kristen Waggoner, Mr. Phillips‘ attorney from Alliance Defending Freedom, said America tolerates freedom of expression for even those who have disagreeable opinions. A Muslim shouldn’t be forced to paint a portrait of Muhammad and a Republican shouldn’t be forced to write a speech for a Democrat, she said.

“These laws apply much broader than just the marriage issue,” said Ms. Waggoner.

Court watchers are highly anticipating the ruling in Mr. Phillips‘ case, as several legal challenges are being filed in states across the country, including one appeal by a Washington florist, who say they have a constitutional right to refuse to participate in same-sex weddings against their religious beliefs.

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