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President Trump Urges the Supreme Court to Uphold the Right of Bakers to Refuse Gay Wedding Cakes

Doug Mainwaring : Sep 11, 2017 : Lifesitenews.com

"Marriage laws should not treat religious Believers as bigots to be purged from the public square. Under the newer laws, family businesses—especially photographers, bakers, florists, and others involved in the wedding industry—have been hauled into court because they declined to provide services for a same-sex ceremony that they viewed as a violation of their religious beliefs." -Ryan T. Anderson and Leslie Ford

(Washington, DC)—[Lifesitenews.com] In a move that LGBT proponents are calling "shocking," President  Trump's Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Colorado baker who was found to have violated the state's anti-discrimination act for declining to bake a cake to celebrate a "gay wedding." (Photo: Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips/YouTube/via LifeSiteNews.com)

In 2012, a gay couple visited the Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colorado, seeking to commission the creation of a cake for their gay wedding. Owner Jack Phillips declined to make the cake because same-sex "marriage" stands in opposition to his religious beliefs. The two men were not seeking to buy an off-the-shelf product; they wanted Phillips to use his talent to create a unique product—a work of art.

Phillips directed the two men to other shops that could provide such a service for them, which they eventually did. But the angered men later engaged the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to bring a punitive case against Phillips and his business that would compel him to act against his conscience.

Contrary to many news headlines and stories about the Masterpiece Cake Shop case, this issue isn't about refusing to sell a product to gay customers. It's about whether or not a state government has the right to compel an artist, under penalty of law, to use his artistry in way that violates his conscience.

In order not to be in violation of the law, Phillips has ceased his custom wedding cake services and has had to release six of his 10 employees.

From the outset of the new administration, the Trump White House and the DOJ have pledged to uphold religious liberty.

"Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights," wrote Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall, one of the authors of the Supreme Court brief.  "Weddings are sacred rites in the religious realm and profoundly symbolic ceremonies in the secular one."

The brief, addressed to the nine Supreme Court justices, reminds them that even the majority opinion in the Obergfell case, which legalized same-sex "marriage" across the country, emphasized upholding First Amendment protections for religious objectors:

"The Court has recognized that opposition to same-sex marriage ‘long has been held—and continues to be held—in good faith by reasonable and sincere people,' and that ... "any who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises."

The brief goes on to point out an important irony of the case: "Indeed, when Phillips declined to create a custom wedding cake for Craig and Mullins [the gay couple seeking to commission a wedding cake] in July 2012, Colorado refused to recognize either same-sex marriages or same-sex civil unions ... In other words, the State itself did not acknowledge the validity of the union it sought to compel petitioners to celebrate. It was not until October 2014, after federal courts had ruled that Colorado's same-sex marriage laws were invalid, that the State began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples."

The brief reflects statements made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at an Alliance Defending Freedom conference in California in July: "The federal government will actively find ways to accommodate people of all faiths. The protections enshrined in the Constitution and our laws protect all Americans, including when we work together, speak in the public square, and when we interact with our government. We don't waive our constitutional rights when we participate fully in public life and civic society."

Recently, the Trump White House has sought to prevent transgendered persons from serving in the military, undoing Obama-era pro-transgender military service policies...  

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