CO civil rights commissioner compares baker who refused to service gay weddings to Nazis

A shocking revelation in a brief filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the Colorado baker who refused to supply a wedding cake to a gay couple and was cited by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  The baker, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Bakery, was also "ordered to create new policies on serving gay customers, have his employees attend sensitivity training, and submit quarterly reports to the commission detailing any refusals to serve customers."

In his appeal brief, the ADF quoted one of the commissioners:

“The commission’s impartiality is in serious question,” said a brief filed by a legal team with the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Phillips appealed the commission’s decision to uphold  an administrative law judge’s ruling against him. He was ordered to retrain himself and his staff to comply with the wishes of same-sex duos and report on his progress to the state.

“In its public deliberations, its members virtually ignored Phillips’s constitution defenses. And at a later hearing on Phillips’s motion to stay its order, one committee member candidly explained why,” the brief explains.

The commission member was Diann Rice.

“I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing or the last meeting,” Rice said. “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, whether it be – I mean, we – 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 – to use their religion to hurt others.”

Continued ADF in its appeal brief to the Colorado Court of Appeals: “Such alarming bias and animus toward Phillips’s religious beliefs, and toward religion in general, has no place in civil society. At least one commission member holds such beliefs. And her comment suggests that other members of the commission may share her view that people who believe marriage is only between a man and a woman are comparable to those who committed the Holocaust. This anti-religious bias undermines the integrity of the commission’s process and final order.

“Moreover, such religious hostility is barred by the Free Exercise Clause and raises a serious question of whether the commission’s analysis would have differed if Phillips’s faith had not been the reason for the denial,” the brief continues.

We should devoutly hope that Mr. Phillips wins his appeal, but given the way anti-gay marriage believers have been demonized, it's doubtful he will prevail.

Opposing gay marriage is not a fringe position.  According to Gallup, 42% of Americans still oppose homosexual unions, despite an avalanche of positive news coverage and name-calling like the example above.  The campaign by gays to equate  the "right" to marry with bigotry – or worse – has been very successful.  Efforts at pushing back against this idiocy have been given short shrift in the media, or portrayed as out of step with the times.

If the government can force you to buy insurance, it can also apparently force you to violate your religious beliefs.  Phillips has already stopped selling wedding cakes and vows to go out of business if the government tries to force him to do so.  Sadly, that will probably be his only option.

A shocking revelation in a brief filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the Colorado baker who refused to supply a wedding cake to a gay couple and was cited by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  The baker, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Bakery, was also "ordered to create new policies on serving gay customers, have his employees attend sensitivity training, and submit quarterly reports to the commission detailing any refusals to serve customers."

In his appeal brief, the ADF quoted one of the commissioners:

“The commission’s impartiality is in serious question,” said a brief filed by a legal team with the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Phillips appealed the commission’s decision to uphold  an administrative law judge’s ruling against him. He was ordered to retrain himself and his staff to comply with the wishes of same-sex duos and report on his progress to the state.

“In its public deliberations, its members virtually ignored Phillips’s constitution defenses. And at a later hearing on Phillips’s motion to stay its order, one committee member candidly explained why,” the brief explains.

The commission member was Diann Rice.

“I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing or the last meeting,” Rice said. “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, whether it be – I mean, we – 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 – to use their religion to hurt others.”

Continued ADF in its appeal brief to the Colorado Court of Appeals: “Such alarming bias and animus toward Phillips’s religious beliefs, and toward religion in general, has no place in civil society. At least one commission member holds such beliefs. And her comment suggests that other members of the commission may share her view that people who believe marriage is only between a man and a woman are comparable to those who committed the Holocaust. This anti-religious bias undermines the integrity of the commission’s process and final order.

“Moreover, such religious hostility is barred by the Free Exercise Clause and raises a serious question of whether the commission’s analysis would have differed if Phillips’s faith had not been the reason for the denial,” the brief continues.

We should devoutly hope that Mr. Phillips wins his appeal, but given the way anti-gay marriage believers have been demonized, it's doubtful he will prevail.

Opposing gay marriage is not a fringe position.  According to Gallup, 42% of Americans still oppose homosexual unions, despite an avalanche of positive news coverage and name-calling like the example above.  The campaign by gays to equate  the "right" to marry with bigotry – or worse – has been very successful.  Efforts at pushing back against this idiocy have been given short shrift in the media, or portrayed as out of step with the times.

If the government can force you to buy insurance, it can also apparently force you to violate your religious beliefs.  Phillips has already stopped selling wedding cakes and vows to go out of business if the government tries to force him to do so.  Sadly, that will probably be his only option.