State Officials On Cake Maker Decision

Supreme Court

Arkansas officials are weighing in following the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Jack Phillips, a Denver baker who was attacked by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for declining to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton released the following statement Monday on the Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission:

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says “Religious freedom is the first freedom, and the government ought not force people of faith to violate their beliefs. The Supreme Court has rightly decided that open hostility to religion has no place in a free country’s government and that people of faith deserve full protection under the law, no less than any other citizen.”

“As the Attorney General, I am proud to have joined this fight in support of Jack Phillips with Masterpiece Cake Shop because an individual’s religious freedom must be preserved and Americans such as Jack must be protected from religious discrimination,” said Rutledge. “Tolerance is a two-way street, and in this case, we found balance. Today’s decision is a big win for religious liberty across the country.”

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission last year. The owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, CO declined to bake a wedding cake for a local same-sex couple. Owner Jack Phillips indicated to the couple that he would be glad to make a birthday or graduation cake or a cake for any other occasion. But he could not, consistent with his religious views, design and create a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. Phillips’ refusal to design and create such a cake is consistent with his refusal to create cakes for Halloween or divorcee parties – events that his religious beliefs prevent him from supporting.

Rutledge joined a 20-state coalition in filing an amicus brief with the Court in September, calling on the court to protect the freedom of speech of the baker in Colorado.

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