A wedding cake. Photo: Devlyn

Trump administration defends cake shop in Colorado that won't serve all patrons

The Trump administration is siding with a business in Colorado that refuses to serve all patrons based on the owner's religious beliefs.

In a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Department of Justice said Masterpiece Cakeshop should not be forced to do business with a same-sex couple. The store's owner -- Jack Phillips, who describes himself as a "cake artist" -- doesn't accept gay marriage despite it being legal in all 50 states and in many tribal nations.

“Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” the department wrote in the brief, The Washington Post reported.

The United States is not a party to the case, known as Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. But the federal government's stance could sway the nation's highest court into ruling for a business that won't serve all customers.

"Can businesses put up a sign that says, 'We Don’t Sell To Gays?' President Trump says yes," James Esseks of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a blog post on Thursday, when the brief was filed.

In 2015, the Supreme Court required states to accept same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. A prior case from 2013, U.S. v. Windsor, required the federal government to recognize all validly performed marriages.

The rulings do not apply to tribal governments because they are separate sovereigns . But dozens of tribes have enacted marriage equality laws, according to Wikipedia.

Oral arguments have not yet been scheduled in Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Read More on the Story:
In major Supreme Court case, Justice Dept. sides with baker who refused to make wedding cake for gay couple (The Washington Post September 7, 2017)
Trump Administration Backs Baker Who Refused to Make Cake for Gay Couple (Reuters September 7, 2017)

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