UPDATE: Alliance Defending Freedom and Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute requested a clarification that CCU was the organizer of the event and that it invited Alliance Defending Freedom. The post has been updated to reflect the Centennial Institute’s role as organizing entity. The source for the original assertion was ADF’s Facebook event page, which says: “Hosted by Jeff Hunt, Centennial Institute, Alliance Defending Freedom,” as well as CCU’s website, “Join Jack Phillips, Colorado Christian University, Alliance Defending Freedom, and faith leaders from around Colorado for a rally.” 

A politically conservative rabbi speaking at Wednesday’s Religious Freedom rally on behalf of baker Jack Phillips called same-sex couples “an abomination” and justified discrimination against them by comparing them to space aliens who “aren’t human beings.”

Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director of the Coalition for Jewish Values insisted that “Because there are only two genders, the courts can pretend to be confused between favoring what the Bible calls matrimony and discriminating against what the Bible calls abomination.”

 He continued with this analogy:

 “If space aliens were to land tomorrow, they would solve the problem. Now some of you probably think I’m nuts, but let me explain. Let’s imagine E.T. lands tomorrow and someone falls in love with E.T. and decides to get married to ET. Trust me- within two years the Supreme Court would decide that under the US Constitution Sally -or Bill- could get married to E.T.

But because aliens are not human beings, and despite what you’ve seen on Star Trek, it would be impossible for aliens and humans to have children together- that would be the Biblical definition of marriage- and Jack Phillips would not be able to bake them a cake. And then it would be obvious that he’s not discriminating against anyone. He’s not singling out same-gender couples for exclusion. On the contrary he is saying he can only celebrate a Biblical marriage that involves a human man and human woman.  And the ACLU would have to pack up and go home. Are your lawyers taking notes, Jack?”


Rabbi Menken was one of several conservative religious leaders to speak at the rally organized by Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute. The event featured not only Phillips but several other clients and the Communications Director of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is an anti-LGBT hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Also sharing the stage with ADF and the rabbi were Colorado Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert (R-Parker) and State Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud). Lundberg vowed to “change the mission” of the Civil Rights Commission during the 2018 legislative session.

ADF will argue Phillips’ case before the US Supreme Court on Dec. 5. The Civil Rights Commission found that Phillips violated Colorado’s nondiscrimination laws in 2013 by discriminating against a same-sex couple on the basis of their sexual orientation. Phillips and his ADF attorneys have repeatedly appealed that decision, losing every court ruling so far.

Reached by email, Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Regional Director Scott L. Levin issued this statement on the Masterpiece case and Rabbi Menken’s comments:

“The religious liberty protections in the Colorado and U.S. Constitutions are a shield for the exercise of one’s faith, not a sword to impose religious beliefs on others in the marketplace. The argument that discriminatory conduct is exempt from the law because of religious beliefs undermines the rule of law in our pluralistic democracy. While this case may involve a same-gender couple, the next one could involve a bakery refusing to sell a Bar Mitzvah cake, a restaurant refusing to serve a Muslim, or a Jewish landlord evicting a Catholic or Evangelical Christian.

Not all Jews share Rabbi Menken’s interpretation of marriage or the right to discriminate. In fact, most support, as ADL does, full equality in marriage and in the marketplace for members of the LGBTQ community. Moreover, we support the laws of Colorado and the United States that prohibit discrimination against anyone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”