Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, argues that he refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple because cakes send messages that are protected under the First Amendment.

“Everyone can agree that a wedding cake carries a certain message – spiritual, cultural, symbolic,” Phillips' lawyer Nicole Martin told KDVR. “And because it carries a message, under the First Amendment Jack has a right to say it or not say it.”

Phillips last year refused to consider baking a cake for Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, who have since married in Massachusetts and held a reception in Denver. Colorado recognizes gay couples with civil unions, not marriage.

The couple sued, claiming that Phillips' faith does not give him a right to discriminate. They are being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“[His] faith, whatever it may have to say about marriage for same-sex couples or the expressive power of a wedding cake, does not give the respondents a license to discriminate,” ACLU attorney Amanda Goad told a judge in Colorado's Civil Rights Commission on Wednesday.

Phillips previously stated that he would rather shutter his business of 20 years than support same-sex marriage.

“If it came to that point, we would close down the bakery before we would compromise our beliefs, so that may be what it comes to. We'll see,” he said, adding that it was “nothing personal” against gays.

“If gays come in and want to order birthday cakes or any cakes for any occasion, graduations, or whatever, I have no prejudice against that whatsoever. It's just the wedding cake – not the people, not their lifestyle,” he said.

Mullins told KDVR that he filed the complaint because “being discriminated against is a form of personal invalidation.”

“It's being degraded and put on a lower level than other people in society. … In his church and in his heart, he can hold whatever beliefs he wants. But a cake shop is governed by civil laws and not religious laws,” he said.

A ruling is expected later this week.