We’re with Them: Christian Business Organizations Stand with Masterpiece Cakeshop

CHICAGO- Mauck & Baker submitted an amicus (friend of the court) brief to the United States Supreme Court on September 7th on behalf of a group of five Christian organizations in support of Masterpiece Cakeshop and Jack Phillips. The highly-anticipated case is about whether Colorado can force an artist to use his or her creative expression for a purpose which violates his or her sincerely held religious beliefs, in this case, designing a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony. “No one should be forced to choose between being in the marketplace and following their religious convictions absent proof of a truly compelling governmental interest,” the brief reads.

The friends of the court that submitted this brief are all organizations that focus on conducting their businesses and vocations in a manner that honors Jesus Christ and represents just one amicus brief among at least 45 others, according to Alliance Defending Freedom. The organizations, represented by Mauck & Baker, are C12 Group; Christian Employers Alliance; Pinnacle Forum; CEO Forum INC.; and Center for Faith and Work at LeTourneau University.

All believe that their Christian calling is not limited to religious acts, but is part of all aspects in one’s life. The amicus brief explains that many Christians do not compartmentalize their lives into secular and religious portions, but believe that their lives as a whole, livelihood included, are meant to be lived in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs. Their beliefs cannot depart from their vocation and they choose to run their businesses in accordance with their faith, sincerely believing it is a part of their life calling. They stand alongside Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop in affirmation that his religious beliefs about marriage are protected by the free speech and free exercise clauses in the First Amendment.

The other side argues that Colorado’s state anti-discrimination law requires that businesses open to the public cannot refuse services based on gender and must treat all customers equally. In 2012, Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to create a cake in celebration of the marriage of Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who then sued the cake artist. In June of this year, the Supreme Court announced it will review the case, the question being whether the government can force artists to promote messages that go against their strongly held beliefs.

“One’s faith and beliefs should not eliminate him from the marketplace. We hope the court will see that business owners and skilled artists should not be compelled to use their skills to promote a message that goes against their sincerely held beliefs,” said Rich Baker, an attorney at the law firm Mauck & Baker.

The Department of Justice also sided with Jack Phillips, “Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” read the brief also submitted on Thursday, September 7.

Read the amicus brief