Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) joined Mountain States Legal Foundation, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, and Manhattan Institute in writing an amicus brief supporting Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who is once again being forced to express a message he does not support. Ten years ago, Phillips declined to make a custom cake that would celebrate same-sex marriage because it went against his religious beliefs. After the State of Colorado punished him for his refusal to express beliefs he did not support, the United States Supreme Court held that Colorado was clearly hostile toward Phillips’ views and failed to remain neutral toward Phillips as required by the First Amendment.
Now, Colorado is once again trying to force Phillips to make a cake expressing views he disagrees with. This time, it is a cake celebrating transgenderism. Phillips, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, is appealing this unconstitutional action to the Supreme Court of Colorado.
In their amicus brief, SLF and its fellow organizations argue that the U.S. Supreme Court has made it very clear that the government can’t force anyone—even artists in the marketplace—to adopt views they do not support. While the government is free to regulate conduct, it is not free to regulate speech. A cake that is intended to convey a message supporting gender transition is speech at its core. The First Amendment protects Phillips from government commands to voice support for transgenderism through his baking.