Re: Editorial, Sept. 19, “Justice Department brief against gay couple is dispiriting”
The editorial deplored a recent U.S. Department of Justice legal brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a Colorado baker who was punished by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after he refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, because doing so would violate his religious beliefs.
Here is some additional information not mentioned in the Washington Post / Daily News editorial:
“In the case of Jack Phillips, two men came into Jack’s bakery in 2012 requesting a custom-designed wedding cake for their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting only a few seconds, Jack offered to make the couple any other type of baked good or sell them a pre-made cake but stated that because of his faith he couldn’t design a cake celebrating that particular event. The two men left and shortly after filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission alleging sexual orientation discrimination. The commission ruled against Jack in December 2013, saying that designing and creating cakes is not speech protected by the First Amendment. The commission ordered Jack and his staff to go through a ‘re-education’ program, implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and file quarterly ‘compliance’ reports for two years to show that Jack had completely eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.
“The Colorado Civil Rights Commission has maintained that it is not violating Jack Phillips’ freedom of speech because cake baking/decorating is not speech. However, in cases where a bakery was asked to design a cake with a message opposing same-sex marriage, the commission upheld the bakery’s right to refuse service on free speech grounds.” (Source: Florida Family Policy Council)
Michael Griffith, Niceville
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