Lawmakers file amicus brief supporting Christian baker in gay wedding cake case

An amicus brief was filed by 86 U.S. lawmakers defending Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, a Christian baker in Colorado who was sued after turning down an order for a custom same-sex wedding cake.

(REUTERS / Fabrizio Bensch)A cake is seen as Germany's environmental party Die Gruenen (The Greens) celebrate. June 30, 2017.

Phillips is due to face the Supreme Court in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case. The Christian baker was previously sued for sexual orientation discrimination and was ordered by an administrative judge in December 2013 to make cakes for gay weddings, Christian Broadcasting Network detailed.

"A government that tells you what you can't say is bad enough," said Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo). "But a government that tells you what you must say and what you must do, and punishes you if you don't is frightening."

She added: "That kind of state power should scare all of us no matter where we stand on this issue."

Phillips had explained that he had not taken issue with the sexual orientation of the customer, but with the event. He said he caters to all kinds of people but could not create cakes for events that violate his conscience.

In Phillips' opening brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court last month, he said he lost 40 percent of his income as a result of the state of Colorado's ruling against him. The Christian baker also said he lost most of his workers after he was forced to stop selling all kinds of wedding cakes just to avoid going against his faith, The Washington Times reported.

"And I never thought that the government would try to take away my freedoms and force me to create something that went against my conscience," said Phillips. "But the state of Colorado did and has forced me to lose 40 percent of my business and most of my staff."

In addition, the legal brief said the cake serves as the centerpiece of the same-sex marriage celebration. It added that the government should not force the Christian baker to express or announce the celebration of the event through his work of art.

Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Phillips, is hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court will see that custom-made wedding cakes are a form of art for the Christian baker. The religious liberty firm also said the oral arguments for the upcoming case are expected to begin this fall.