Judge: Gay ‘Rights’ Trump Religious Rights

Via Fox News:

A Colorado judge says a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs, a ruling that a civil rights group hailed as a victory for gay rights.

Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled Friday that Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, will face fines if he continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy wedding cakes.

“The undisputed facts show that Respondents (Phillips) discriminated against Complainants because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage,” Spencer wrote.

Last year, David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited the Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. The couple had planned to marry in Massachusetts and hold a reception in Colorado.

Phillips told the men that he could not bake their cake because of his religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. He offered to make them any other baked item, but not a wedding cake. The couple immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

“Being denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop was offensive and dehumanizing especially in the midst of arranging what should be a joyful family celebration,” Mullins said in a statement. “No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado hailed the ruling and said it serves as a warning.

“While we all agree that religious freedom is important, no one’s religious beliefs make it acceptable to break the law by discriminating against prospective customers,” ACLU staff attorney Amanda Goad said in a statement. “No one is asking Masterpiece’s owners to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple.”

Phillips was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal firm specializing in religious liberty cases. Attorney Nicolle Martin condemned the judge’s ruling.

“America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs,” Martin said in a prepared statement. “Forcing Americans to promote ideas against their will undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression and our right to live free.”

Martin said this was simply a case of a baker who declined to use his personal creative abilities to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony.

“If the government can take aware our First Amendment freedoms, there is nothing it can’t take away,” she said.

Martin added that Phillips is a devoted Christian who has an unwavering faith. She said he is a person of such deep faith that he won’t even bake Halloween-themed treats – at all.

“He’s just trying to live within a certain set of biblical principals because he believes that he answers to God for everything that he does,” Martin told Fox News.

She said this case is an example of gay rights trumping religious rights.

“It sends a message not just to other business owners, it sends a message to Americans – that if the government can take away our First amendment freedoms and tell you what to say and when to say it, there’s nothing they can’t take away,” Martin told Fox News.

Judge Spencer said Phillips did not demonstrate that his free speech rights had been violated and he said there’s no evidence that forcing him to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony would hurt his business.

“On the contrary, to the extent that the law prohibits Respondents’ (Phillips) from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, compliance with the law would likely increase their business by not alienating the gay community,” he wrote.

Martin said it was unclear if Phillips will appeal the judge’s ruling.

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4 thoughts on “Judge: Gay ‘Rights’ Trump Religious Rights

  1. This judge does not understand– or worse yet, refuses to uphold– first amendment rights. He really should be removed from the bench as incompetent and a danger to peace-loving American citizens who are simply exercising their right to ‘free exercise of religion.” No one should be compelled to lend their talents to celebrate and support something as a marriage which their deeply held religious convictions tell them is not a marriage. For this judge not to respect first amendment rights is a gross form of bullying involving the immoral abuse of judicial power. I commend all freedom-loving citizens who know their Constitutional rights and know when they can and must refuse to comply with such tyrannical mandates!

  2. Here’s what the gay rights agenda is really about…

    Demanding tolerance gave way to demanding recognition which gave way to demanding equality which is now giving way to demanding superiority.

    So much for the Stonewall excuse that all they wanted was to be “left alone”…

    Gay fascists won’t be satisfied until they’ve silenced every opposition – especially true born again Bible believing Christians…

    Examine evidence where Christianity is being intimidated through bullying, threats, intimidation, laws or lawsuits – Christian business owners who are approached by gay couples trying to force them into compromising their beliefs and then suing them when they won’t…gays picketing churches who’s ministers preach that homosexuality is a sin – does that sound like “tolerance” ?

    It’s happening more and more – so it’s not just about marriage equality anymore –

    it’s about eradicating any ideology that disagrees with homosexuality.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

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