Utah signs on in support of shop that refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has signed on in support of a Colorado bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

In a “friend of the court” brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes joined counterparts in Texas, Kentucky, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Maine’s governor in support of Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Scroll down to read the filing with the U.S. Supreme Court

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado. Shop owner Jack Phillips refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple citing his religious beliefs and was found to have violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law dealing with public accommodations.

FOX 13 first reported earlier this week a majority of Utah’s Republican senators, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Sen. Mike Lee had also filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to rule in favor with the cake shop.

The amicus brief the Utah Attorney General’s Office signed on to argues against the U.S. Supreme Court creating “compelled speech” if it rules in Colorado’s favor.

“This compulsion of speech is constitutionally forbidden. And for good reason: Government power to order individuals to speak in a manner that violates their conscience is fundamentally at odds with the freedom of expression and tolerance for a diversity of viewpoints that this Nation has long enjoyed and promoted,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office wrote.

“Amici are well-positioned to explain that States have a host of alternatives for promoting the availability of customized artistic works at same-sex weddings.”

For example, the states said, there could be an online database of places that would make a wedding cake for same-sex couples.

“Public-accommodation concerns of past eras are not present here; customized pieces of art are not public accommodations (like restaurants and hotels), the artist plainly did not act out of invidious discrimination, and complainants had immediate access to other artists, in any event. If States wish to facilitate the commissioning of artistry for same-sex weddings, they must look to more nuanced and less invasive approaches,” the filing states.

Read the filing here: