Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who said Jesus wouldn’t bake a cake for gay people, has now got the backing of the Trump Administration.
The notorious baker launched a legal challenge after being found in violation of state anti-discrimination laws for refusing to serve gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig.
After 86 members of Congress signed an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court supporting the baker’s right to discriminate, the Trump Administration sides with Phillips.
The Justice Department on Thursday filed a brief to the High Court saying it backs the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop.
GOP lawmakers said ruling against the bakery could create an “intrusion” against the First Amendment “where a public accommodations law compels someone to create expression for a particular person or entity and to participate, literally or figuratively, in a ceremony or other expressive event.”
The Department claims “the First Amendment protects the right of free expression for all Americans.”
“Although public-accommodations laws serve important purposes, they — like other laws — must yield to the individual freedoms that the First Amendment guarantees,” the official added.
“That includes the freedom not to create expression for ceremonies that violate one’s religious beliefs.”
Phillips is defended by hardline anti-LGBT law firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which has sought to undermine LGBT rights protections in a number of states.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Colorado represent Mullins and Craig in the case.
James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project, said: “The law is squarely on David and Charlie’s side because when businesses are open to the public, they’re supposed to be open to everyone.
“While the right to one’s religious beliefs is fundamental, a license to discriminate is not.
“Same-sex couples like David and Charlie deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else, and we’re ready to take that fight all the way to the Supreme Court.”