A Christian baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding has a major backer as his case heads to the US Supreme Court this fall: the Trump administration.
The Department of Justice has sided with Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, arguing that governments “may not … truncate the First Amendment by compelling a person to create a piece of artwork—particularly one that violates the artist’s conscience.”
The amicus brief, issued last Thursday by several leaders in the office of the Solicitor General and the office of the Attorney General, is among 45 filed in support of the Colorado baker’s religious and artistic freedom.
“This case happens to arise in the context of expression regarding same-sex marriage,” the Trump administration officials state. “But the First Amendment principles that control here transcend, and will long outlast, the nation’s current dialogue about same-sex marriage.”
The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, represents the highest-profile clash between religious convictions and LGBT protections since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.
The high court’s decision will impact wedding vendors across the country who do not want to service same-sex celebrations because of their religious convictions on marriage. Fellow bakers, photographers, and florists have challenged anti-LGBT discrimination laws in lower courts.