At Heritage, we believe the religious beliefs of both individuals and organizations should be respected by law.
Your support helps protect religious liberty by defending citizens’ consciences from government overreach.
When Jack Phillips, a cake artist and baker from Colorado, declined to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding, the gay couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
The Colorado judge determined he had engaged in sexual-orientation discrimination. But all Jack wanted to do was run his business in accordance with his religious beliefs.
In September, Jack came to Heritage to discuss the challenges of creating art, doing business, and stay true to his conscience in modern times. Now, his legal battle has made its way to the Supreme Court.
In this case, Justices will decide whether states can compel business owners like Jack to create speech that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.
In Jack’s view, the creation of a cake for a gay wedding is a form of speech; it conveys a message about the validity of gay marriage.
This message violates his sincerely held religious belief that marriage is a sacred promise made between a man and a woman.
Jack believes he should be able to run his business in accordance with his beliefs, and that the state should not compel him to express views that violate his conscience.
Oral arguments were held this past Tuesday at the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, Heritage hosted an event titled “Free Speech Takes the Cake: Can States Compel Speech?”
Kristen Waggoner, the Senior Vice President of Alliance Defending Freedom and Counsel for Jack Phillips was present, alongside Ilya Shapiro, a Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, and Lloyd Cohen, a law professor at George Mason University.
You can watch a livestream of the discussion here >>
The stakes of this case are high. The future of free speech and the government respecting its citizens’ religious beliefs hangs in the balance.
Creative professionals all over the country have filed amicus briefs supporting Jack and the rights of artists to utter – and not utter – messages that align with their values.
Artists who care about their right to decline to use their creativity on projects that violate their consciences should stand with Jack.
We need to protect religious freedom so that the pursuit of truth can unfold naturally in public discourse, without government intervention and punishment.
Your support helps protect people like Jack, who live their faith even when it’s counter-cultural.
Should Jack be forced to bake a cake for a ceremony that goes against his religious conscience?