The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) and Utah Senator Mike Lee, a
Republican, have filed briefs in a case pending before the Supreme
Court in support of a Colorado baker who refused to serve a gay
In 2012, Jack Phillips, the owner of
Denver-based Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to consider baking a cake
for Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig. The men married in Massachusetts
and wanted to buy a cake from Phillips for their Denver reception.
Phillips said that serving the couple would violate his religious
faith. Colorado at the time recognized gay and lesbian couples with
civil unions, not marriage.
The couple sued, saying that Phillips'
faith does not give him a right to discriminate, and a Colorado court
found that Phillips had discriminated against the men under Colorado
law. After the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal,
Phillips turned to the Supreme Court, arguing that the First
Amendment protects his religious rights.
The Virginia-based Christian Legal
Society filed its brief on behalf of the Mormon Church, the Lutheran
Church – Missouri Synod, the National Association of Evangelicals,
the Orthodox Jewish Congregations and others, The
Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“Now that the court has protected the
liberty of same-sex couples, it is equally important to protect the
religious liberties of conscientious objectors,” the amicus
Lee was among the members of Congress
who also filed a brief in the case.
He also released a statement on his
website in support of Phillips.
“More and more, the adherents of this
[secular, progressive] creed seek to use the power of government to
steamroll disfavored groups,” Lee wrote. “So they force
evangelical caterers to bake cakes celebrating same-sex marriages. …
And they force nuns to purchase contraceptive coverage. And sue
religious hospitals that won't perform abortions or sex-reassignment