Monday, December 9, 2013

Judge Rules Against Christian Cake Maker

by Bethany Monk, CitizenLink: A Colorado judge on Friday said that a Christian baker must use his creative expression to support events that conflict with his deeply held religious beliefs. His opinion, though, is not a final ruling.

Jack Phillips owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood. Last year, he declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. He politely said that he would make any other baked item, but not one advocating a same-sex ceremony. The couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

"This decision forces Phillips to choose between his faith and his livelihood," said Focus on the Family Judicial Analyst Bruce Hausknecht. "That shouldn't be the case in Colorado — or anywhere."

Unfortunately, such attacks on religious freedom are happening elsewhere. In January, Aaron Klein — who owned Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Ore. — declined to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony. The couple filed suit. And this summer, he shut down his business.

The Colorado case is a bit different, in that an administrative law judge, Robert N. Spencer, issued the opinion. Unlike a usual state or federal judge, this is basically an attorney hired to adjudicate this case, Hausknecht said.

“The next step is for the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to consider whether they want to adopt the opinion of this judge or not,” he explained. “It can be appealed from there by either side to a state court all the way up to the Colorado Supreme Court.”

Christian cake makers have the right to decline to use his or her creative talents for events that violate their beliefs.

“Freedom of conscience is an inalienable right of all Americans,” Hausknecht said. “It’s based on what the Founders believed was written into the Declaration of Independence and has been put in state constitutions ever since. Forcing this baker to go against his conscience is simply violating the foundations on which the state Constitution and federal Constitution are based.” Read the decision in Craig v. Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Tags: Lakewood, Colorado, judge, decision , Christian baker, must use, his creative expression, to support events, conflict with his religious beliefs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

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