Courthouse Steps: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado CRC

Religious Liberties Practice Group Teleforum

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On December 5th, The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado CRC. The case, one of the most highly publicized of the term, involves questions of religious liberty, expressive acts, and compelled speech.

Two men, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, were planning their wedding and sought a wedding cake from Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop. Phillips told the men that he could not make them a cake, citing his religious beliefs. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined that Phillips was discriminating against the couple on the basis of sexual orientation. Phillips was told to “cease and desist” such discrimination and was ordered to provide “remedial measures.” As a result, Phillips stopped offering custom cakes entirely.

The case deals with the balance of religious liberties and equality through anti-discriminatory laws. It also involves the Free Speech Clause, as Phillips considers his custom cakes art and himself an artist. Phillips and many others see the “cease and desist” as a form of compelled speech, since he would be legally obligated to create art with a message he does not support.

Kim Colby, Director at the Center for Law & Religious Freedom at the Christian Legal Society, will attend oral argument and join us to discuss her impressions.  



Kim Colby, Director, Center for Law & Religious Freedom, Christian Legal Society


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