A conservative legal firm is accusing the Colorado Civil Rights Commission of harassing a baker who refused to make a gay wedding cake by comparing him to “slave owners and perpetrators of the Holocaust.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, the Christian baker who made national headlines when he refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding last year. Now, Phillips’ lawyers have filed a legal brief accusing civil rights commissioner Diann Rice about making those ridiculous comparisons.
Rice made the claims on July 25 of last year, when she gave a speech about how religion is often used to harm others rather than to do good:
“I would also like to reiterate what we said in … the last meeting [concerning Jack Phillips]. Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust. I mean, we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use – to use their religion to hurt others.”
Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco says that Rice’s statements reflect an “alarming bias and hostility” towards Phillips’ religious beliefs. Tedesco adds that this is particularly disturbing, considering that this bias is coming from a government official.
“Commissioner Rice compared a private citizen who owns a small bakery to slaveholders and Holocaust perpetrators merely for asking that the state respect his right to free speech and free exercise of religion,” Tedesco said. ”Her comments suggest that others on the commission may share her view. This anti-religious bigotry undermines the integrity of the entire process and the commission’s order as well.”
The trouble began for Phillips back in 2012, when a gay couple asked him to make their wedding case. He refused, and a legal battle began that continues to rage on today.
The courts have ruled against Phillips over and over, and he was forced to stop making cakes back in March of last year. Despite this, he says it has been worth it to stand up for his rights.
“I’m not going to make cakes for same-sex weddings,” the baker said. “That violates my First Amendment speech … and my duty as a Christian abiding by my savior.”
H/T: The Blaze