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Religious freedom or homophobia

In the US, the court will consider the claim of a confectioner who was previously convicted for refusing to prepare a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Jack Phillips. Photos of Denver Post
Jack Phillips. Photos of Denver Post

On June 26, the US Supreme Court agreed to consider the appeal of Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, who refused to serve a couple of gays who wanted to order his wedding cake. After that, Phillips was found guilty of violating the anti-discrimination law.

However, he stated that he has the right to refuse same-sex couples because of his religious beliefs. In his opinion, the state forces him to choose between faith and the demands of the court.

The lawsuit between Americans began in 2012, when Phillips refused to prepare a cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig. The couple registered in the state of Massachusetts, because same-sex marriages in their native state of Colorado were legalized only in 2014. After returning home, they decided to celebrate the wedding and turned to Masterpiece Cakeshop.

According to Mullins, Phillips’ refusal was “aggressive and inhuman.” The couple filed with the confectioner in court for violating the law, prohibiting companies from denying services due to “race, gender and sexual orientation.” In 2013 Masterpiece Cakeshop was found guilty.

In court Phillips tried to prove that he did not make a wedding cake because of his religious beliefs. According to the confectioner, he is a follower of Jesus Christ, and in the Bible do not approve of same-sex marriages. However, the court did not accept his arguments. In 2015, Phillips lost and an appeal.

Cake making will not be an expression of support for gay marriages. It’s just following the law and the same service to all customers.

from the decision of the Court of Appeal

In December 2016, Phillips filed a new lawsuit with the support of the conservative Christian office of the ADF. His lawyers said that making cakes is “creativity”, which is protected by the first amendment of the US Constitution (freedom of speech and religion).

The confectioner said that his religious beliefs concern not only same-sex couples: he does not make cakes with alcohol, cakes for Halloween, and cakes that support “racism and atheism.” In addition, Phillips closes the pastry shop on Sundays.

Consideration of the claim is scheduled for autumn. The New York Times noted that the case could be a serious clash between US laws against discrimination based on religion and sexual orientation, as well as a precedent for future such trials.

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