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Bishops applaud Court's Masterpiece Cakeshop decision

Say it upholds government tolerance for deeply held religious beliefs

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WASHINGTON | On June 4, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case involves a Christian baker named Jack Phillips who declined in 2012 to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. State officials sought to compel Phillips to create such cakes under Colorado’s public accommodations law. The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Phillips under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following joint statement:

“Today’s decision confirms that people of faith should not suffer discrimination on account of their deeply held religious beliefs, but instead should be respected by government officials. This extends to creative professionals, such as Jack Phillips, who seek to serve the Lord in every aspect of their daily lives. In a pluralistic society like ours, true tolerance allows people with different viewpoints to be free to live out their beliefs, even if those beliefs are unpopular with the government.”

The USCCB filed an amicus curiae brief supporting Masterpiece Cakeshop, which can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/16-111-tsac-USCCB.pdf.

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