Friday, September 8, 2017

Defending Religious Freedom: CCV Files Brief with Supreme Court

COLUMBUS—Citizens for Community Values (CCV), an Ohio Christian advocacy organization that defends free speech and religious liberty, filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court today in support of a small business owner’s religious freedom rights.

The “friend-of-the-court” brief was filed in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case that will be going before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall. The question before the court is whether Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, can be forced by the government to convey a message that goes against his religious beliefs.

As a devout Christian, Jack has deeply held beliefs about God’s purpose and design for marriage. In July 2012, two men asked Jack to bake a cake for their wedding ceremony. Jack explained that he would gladly serve them any other baked-good they wanted, but that he could not design a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.

Drafted by National Review Institute’s David French, the brief celebrates the long standing American tradition of allowing for individuals and business owners to live their lives in accordance with their conscience, free from government retribution. It cites historical Supreme Court cases and current stories of people refusing to communicate a message that would violate their conscience.

“This brief will relate stories of artists who refused to reproduce Bible verses they found objectionable, design clothing for politicians they dislike, or to recreate flags of American enemies,” the brief says. “But it will also go beyond, illustrating how corporations now view the decision to do business itself as a political act, granting or withholding economic opportunity on the basis of the rights of conscience of their leaders, employees, and shareholders.”

CCV President Aaron Baer believes this case should be an easy one for the court to resolve.

“What makes America great is that we can disagree about serious issues, and still live together in peace. If we truly respect diversity, then we must respect the rights of others to hold different religious views and opinions than us. This is what separates our nation from so many others, and why the court must not allow the State of Colorado to punish Jack,” said Baer.

“From students declining to rise for the pledge of allegiance, to Walmart refusing to sell Confederate paraphernalia, to fashion designers refusing to make dresses for Melania Trump because they disagree with her husband’s politics, Americans understand that no one should be forced to participate in an event or communicate a message with which they disagree,” Baer said.

CCV joined with 32 family policy organizations in filing the amicus brief. You can read it online here: 

You can read this release online here: 

For questions or further comments, contact CCV, [email protected] or 513.733.5775. Citizens for Community Values works to create an Ohio where God’s blessings of life, family, and religious freedom are treasured, respected, and protected.

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