A Christian baker is appealing to the Supreme Court after a federal court ruled he must bake a cake for a gay wedding.
Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, declined to make a cake for a gay wedding because he says it conflicts with his religious convictions. A lower court ruled Philips could not cite his faith as reason to decline the request and ordered that he and his employees bake cakes regardless of their religious convictions.
Phillips decided to fight for his religious freedoms by filing a petition to the Supreme Court Friday.
Advocates of gay marriage say the case is about stopping discrimination, but Phillips' attorneys say it is about protecting basic freedoms.
"No one—not Jack or anyone else—should be forced by the government to further a message that they cannot in good conscience promote," said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. "And that's what this case is about."
"Jack, who has happily served people of all backgrounds for years, simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic talents to promote a message and event with which he fundamentally disagrees," Tedesco added.
Although a 2015 Marist poll says 65 percent of Americans disagree with penalizing wedding vendors who decline to provide services for same-sex ceremonies on religious grounds, the fight is far from over.
Tedesco says cases similar to Philips' are constantly circulating among the lower courts. That is why he hopes the Supreme Court will settle the disputes once and for all.
"We are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that the government understands that its duty is to protect the people's freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally, not force them to violate those beliefs as the price of earning a living."