Los Angeles (9/7/2017) – In what might just be the most important religious liberty case in our nation’s history, Freedom X today filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a Colorado baker who refused a request by a gay couple to design a cake celebrating their same-sex wedding ceremony. Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, CO, was willing to bake a cake for the couple but refused their request to design the cake in a manner that would violate his conscience as a devout Christian.
“The Supreme Court must decide in this appeal whether government may compel people of faith to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs in deference to the sexually immoral LGBT+ agenda,” Freedom X founder and chief counsel Bill Becker said. “This case tests the strength of the First Amendment’s free speech and free exercise (of religion) clauses and whether they have any meaning in a free society.”
The brief was filed on behalf of amici Freedom X and Rabbi Dovid Bressman. Both have asserted an interest in how this Court construes the “goods” and “services” described in antidiscrimination statutes like Colorado’s section 24-34-601(2)(1), which bars discrimination against customers based on their “creed,” and under what circumstances discrimination may enjoy constitutional protection.
Rabbi Bressman is recognized within the Jewish community as a sofer stam (religious scribe). Rabbi Bressman prepares documents for use in the exercise of Jewish religious practice, including ketubot (wedding contracts). Rabbi Bressman also examines and repairs sifre torah (torah scrolls) and arranges for their sale. The religious validity of these goods themselves, and their eventual transfer, may well depend on the religious status of the customer. Rabbi Bressman also practices mediation in family law. He has an interest in limiting his mediation to couples sharing the same religious affiliation.
Freedom X and Rabbi Bressman argue in the brief that the Colorado Court of Appeal erroneously concluded the act of decorating a cake to “celebrate” a same-sex marriage would neither convey an expressive message nor be perceived as expressing one. But the expression of an idea regarding same-sex marriage, whether benign or derogatory, enjoys First Amendment protection.
“We filed this brief on behalf of Freedom X, a principally Christian organization serving conservatives and the faith community, and a Jewish rabbi,” said Becker. “The outcome of this case will decide where Christians and Jews alike are free to follow their consciences or are forced to violate them. ”
Media Contact: Bill Becker
Documents: Amicus Brief