As his high-profile Supreme Court case approaches, Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips has been receiving messages of support from gay people over his right to refuse to make gay wedding cakes due to his religious beliefs.
"I'm TJ, and I'm Matt, we're gay and we're here to support Jack Phillips...to buy stuff from him, and support him because we don't think any artist should be forced to create for something that violates their beliefs," stated two individuals in a short video posted on Facebook Monday by Alliance Defending Freedom, the law group defending Phillips.
ADF has argued that it is possible to support both same-sex marriage and Phillips, who was sued after he declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. What's at stake on Dec. 5 when the Supreme Court case begins is the right of all Americans to express ideas freely, ADF contended.
"Creating space for Jack to live out his convictions shows what a pluralistic society should look like. It would demonstrate what it means to have the freedom to disagree yet to be tolerant amidst those disagreements," wrote Kristen K. Waggoner, general counsel and senior vice president of U.S. legal advocacy at ADF.
"That is why so many supporters of same-sex marriage filed briefs supporting Jack before the Supreme Court. It's also why Jack has had so many customers tell him that even though they disagree with him on marriage, they support his right to live out who he is.
"They understand that if we want freedom for ourselves, we must extend it to others."
Phillips is seeking to overturn his guilty verdict by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2014, which accused him of discriminating against gay couple Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012 when he refused to make a cake for their wedding.
The Christian baker has said that he serves gay customers just like any other, but does not want to use his talents for a gay wedding, which goes against his convictions that marriage is solely a union between one man and one woman.
Phillips said back in 2015 that hundreds of gay people have reached out to him to express their support for his case.
"The other day a guy from Daytona Beach called and left a message. He said he's gay and he wanted to offer his support, and gave me his phone number to call him back," Phillips told The Daily Signal in an interview at the time.
"So that's one, but there's dozens or hundreds of gays who say they think this is just not right [and is] politically motivated mostly. 'You have the right to turn us down and these people are making us all look like we're terrorists. ... But we're not, we just want to live our lives.'"
Close to 1,300 multifaith leaders and assorted theologically liberal religious groups, on the other hand, recently filed a brief before the Supreme Court, insisting that the Colorado baker must make gay wedding cakes despite his religious objections.
"Personal religious views are entitled to the utmost respect, but do not provide a license to disregard neutral civil rights laws that do not directly and substantially burden actual religious exercise," the brief argues.
"Petitioner Jack Phillips has every right to his religious beliefs concerning marriage and to lawfully act on those beliefs in his personal and religious life. But once he held himself out as a baker marketing wedding cakes to the general public, he became subject to public accommodation laws [Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act]."
The Trump administration is backing Phillips and has asked to be allowed to argue in his favor during the Supreme Court hearing.
Watch the ADF Facebook video below: