AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today reaffirmed his support for a Colorado cake artist’s religious liberty case as it went before the U.S. Supreme Court. Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, is fighting to protect his constitutional rights after he declined to create a cake for a same-sex marriage because of his deeply-held religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
“Forcing Jack Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his faith invades his First Amendment rights,” Attorney General Paxton said. “This is a landmark case. If courts allow the government to violate our first liberties of religious freedom and freedom of speech, no other liberty is safe.”
Leading a 20-state coalition, Attorney General Paxton filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court last September in support of Phillips’ case in Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
In 2015, Attorney General Paxton issued an opinion that county clerks and judges retain religious freedoms, and that the government cannot compel them to issue licenses or conduct same-sex ceremonies over their religious objections. The opinion explains that forcing someone to perform a task against their will is unconstitutional and not the least a restrictive means of achieving a policy when other clerks or judges are available and willing to conduct same-sex ceremonies.
View the amicus brief here: http://bit.ly/2gOyZSa