The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is siding with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple in a case headed toward the United States Supreme Court.
The ERLC filed a brief Sept. 7 asking the Supreme Court to overrule a determination by the Colorado Court of Appeals that Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., violated a state law barring discrimination in places of public accommodation when owner Jack Phillips refused to design and bake a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding in July 2012.
The brief argues that by requiring “cake artists” like Phillips to design custom wedding cakes celebrating same-sex marriage despite sincere religious objections, the state of Colorado “has effectively posted a sign declaring ‘Evangelicals Need Not Apply’” for wedding-related industries in light of the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
The ERLC brief — one of nearly four dozen amicus briefs filed in support of the baker by groups including the Trump administration, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse, Focus on the Family, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and others — says many faiths do not condone same-sex marriage.
Citations include The Nashville Statement — a recent manifesto on human sexuality of which the ERLC was a lead organizer and signer, which “affirms that God designed marriage to be the union of man and woman” and “denies that same-sex marriage can be approved morally, according to the Bible” — and the Baptist Faith and Message, a Southern Baptist Convention doctrinal statement last revised in 2000.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the case is about “nothing short of a constitutional right to discriminate” against people because of their sexual orientation.