A Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple is petitioning the Supreme Court to hear his case, putting LGBT rights back before the highest court in the land.
Jack Phillips, owner of Denver’s Masterpiece Cakeshop, declined to make a cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins back in 2013. Colorado civil-rights law bans discrimination in public accommodation, so the couple sued Phillips—and Masterpiece was ordered to change its policy.
Phillips appealed but the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear his case. So, on Friday, he filed a petition with the Supreme Court to hear his case.
“I’m not running a sandwich shop or a café, and I’m not just a cake baker. I’m also a cake artist. And, like all artists, I communicate messages through what I create,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Denver Post. “It’s not about selling cookies or cupcakes—it’s about investing some part of my creative soul into communicating an idea my heart rejects.”
Phillips is being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has previously defended the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay troop leaders, California’s Prop 8 and a wedding photographer who refused to shoot a civil union. (The ADF also established the “Day of Truth” in response to GLSEN’s Day of Silence, claiming students who speak out against homosexuality are punished by schools.)
“No one—not Jack or anyone else—should be forced by the government to further a message that they cannot in good conscience promote,” said attorney Jeremy Tedesco. “And that’s what this case is about.”
Not everyone sees it that way, of course: “Everyone has a right to their religious beliefs,” says Mark Silverstein of the ACLU of Colorado. “But business owners cannot rely on those beliefs as an excuse to discriminate against prospective customers.”
While it’s not likely the Supreme Court will take up Philips case, it’s only a matter of time before it does address the issue.