U.S. President Donald Trump has backed a Christian baker who refused to bake a cake for the wedding of a gay couple.
The Trump administration on Thursday filed papers at the U.S. Supreme Court backing Jack Phillips, a Christian baker in Colorado whom a state court ruled against for declining to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall asserted that Phillips should be exempt from Colorado’s anti-discrimination law because making custom cakes is a form of free expression protected under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, according to Reuters.
Wall wrote that a First Amendment violation occurred “where a public accommodation law compels someone to create expression for a particular person or entity and to participate, literally or figuratively in a ceremony or other expressive event.”
“What makes this brief unusual is its substance. It’s practically unheard of for the Justice Department to argue in favor of a constitutional exemption to anti-discrimination laws — a constitutional right to discriminate. But that’s exactly what this brief is doing,” said CNN’s Steve Vladeck.
“What the Trump administration is advocating for is nothing short of a constitutional right to discriminate,” said American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Louise Melling, who represents the gay couple.
“For me, it’s never about the person, its only about the event,” explained Phillips. “I serve everyone, but I cannot create custom designs for events or messages that conflict with my conscience.”
“I never thought that the government would try to take away my freedoms and force me to create something that went against my conscience,” Phillips continued. “But the state of Colorado did and has forced me to lose 40 percent of my business and most of my staff.”