Is refusing service to homosexuals bigotry or religious freedom? One Colorado man says it’s the latter, and he wants the Colorado Supreme Court to rule in his favor, which would make it legal for any business owner in the state to refuse services or goods to same sex couples without legal repercussion. The Daily Signal reports that cake artist Jack Phillips has already lost once in court regarding this issue, but he isn’t done fighting yet.
Back in 2012, Phillips refused to bake a cake for a same sex couple. Charlie Craig and David Mullins promptly filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission against the baker/cake artist, which was successful on their part. Phillips was later found to be in violation of the couple’s civil rights by discriminating against them as a business owner. However, he has still refused to provide the same goods and services to gays that he offers to the rest of the public. He has hope that the Colorado Supreme Court will rule with him in defense of what he believes to be his First Amendment rights. The attorney that represents him has offered a statement regarding this endeavor.
“We are asking the Colorado Supreme Court to ensure that government understands that its duty is to protect the people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living.”
Jack Phillips is being labeled a bigot by supporters of LGBTQ rights, while his supporters continue to argue that he should have the right to turn away same sex couples as a testament of his religious liberty. This case shares similarities with other cases of homosexual discrimination, such as the high profile case surrounding Sweet Cakes by Melissa. and the bakery’s owners Melissa and Aaron Klein. The Kleins became the center of scrutiny when they refused to bake and sell a cake to a lesbian couple, who also sued over the incident.
— AllianceDefends (@AllianceDefends) October 24, 2015
@AllianceDefends I am praying for justice to prevail in this case and others.
— Lisa Harbuck (@LisaJan51) October 24, 2015
The Gresham, Oregon bakery owners were found to be in violation of a civil protection law that requires all business owners to serve all members of the public regardless of sexual orientation. They were even fined approximately $140K for their violation of the civil rights of homosexuals — a fine that they still refuse to pay. Numerous people — including high profile celebrities — have called their brand of “religious freedom” nothing more than homophobic bigotry.
Sweet Cakes by Melissa Owners Defying Order to Pay $135,000 to Lesbian Couple Who Wanted a Wedding Cake http://t.co/SA6o5KxDlD
— Jay Veerayano (@JayVeerayano) October 4, 2015
There is also the case of Arlene’s Flowers, whose shop owner has also been referred to as a bigot by users of social media and an outraged public. The owner of the Washington florist shop refused to sell flowers to a man whom she’d known to be an open homosexual. Like the Sweet Cakes by Melissa case, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers attracted boycotts from hundreds of people on top of negative media attention. The florist was referred to as a bigot by supporters of homosexual equality, but she genuinely appeared to believe that her refusal to serve homosexuals was a religious right not at all steeped in hate.
Do you think refusing service to gays is a form of bigotry? With same sex marriage legal in all 50 states by order of the SCOTUS, it’s hard to imagine that any state court, or higher courts, will side with any business owner choosing to refuse services or products to same sex couples.
[Photo via Wikipedia/Public Domain]