A rally for Jack Phillips, the baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple, is set for Wed., Nov. 8, at Colorado Christian University’s Event Center.
The demonstration, sponsored by the ultra conservative Colorado Christian University and the Alliance Defending Freedom, comes as Colorado’s Republican Attorney, General Cynthia Coffman, took a stand against Phillips Wednesday, arguing in a legal brief that he violated Colorado’s public accommodations law by refusing to serve the gay couple who ordered a wedding cake.
Phillips case is scheduled to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in December.
Coffman’s predecessor, John Suthers, also a Republican, took a similar position on the case as Coffman, telling a conservative radio host two years ago that Colorado’s law didn’t violate the First Amendment because “baking cakes is not the exercise of religion.” Suthers wants lawmakers to repeal the public accommodations law, but until that happens, it doesn’t restrict Phillips’ constitutional rights, he said on air.
Baking: Where Art and Religion Merge?
But Jeff Hunt, Director of Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute, and others who support Phillips, are arguing that the baker’s cakes are his form of artistic expression, tied to his expression of religion, and so his cake baking is protected by the First Amendment.
Hunt even calls Phillips a “cake artist.”
When Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips opened his cakeshop 24 years ago, he wanted to do more than just provide for his family and his employees,” Hunt stated in an email Thursday. “He wanted to serve his community, share his artistic talents, and honor God through his work every day.
The government should not force anyone to create art that conflicts with their conscience. Yet that is exactly what the government did to Jack. And if the government has the power to tell you what to believe on the subject of marriage, it has that same power over all issues.
That’s un-American. And terrifying.
Daniel Ramos, director of the LGBT advocacy organization One Colorado, applauded Coffman in a news release Wednesday for defending Colorado’s non-discrimination laws.
“Attorney General Coffman is doing the right thing by standing alongside Coloradans, enforcing Colorado’s nondiscrimination law, and filing this brief that sets the record straight about our values of equal treatment,” said Ramos. “It is the role of our elected officials to ensure that no one faces discrimination of any kind – and that includes not legally permitting any business to refuse service to a Coloradan because of who they are.
“Nondiscrimination is not a Democratic or Republican value — it’s about freedom and opportunity for all and the right of all families to work hard and care for themselves.”
Colorado’s public accommodations law prohibits businesses that serve the public from discriminating based on race, gender, and sexual preference.