Celebrity Chefs Support Gay Rights in Supreme Court Wedding Cake Case

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As the Supreme Court determines whether bakers must serve wedding cakes to same-sex couples, prominent members of the industry are speaking out against the defendant who refuses to do so. Celebrity chefs Jose Andres, Elizabeth Falkner, and Carla Hall are among bakers signing on to the Human Rights Campaign's friend-of-the-court brief for the right of LGBT people to be served by all businesses open to the public, reports PBS.

The Supreme Court case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, involves baker Jack Phillips, who refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple. Instead, he offered to make them brownies. Phillips's defense is that he is an artist and a Christian whose artistic and religious freedoms are protected by the First Amendment. 

“It’s not about your art. When you’re open to service to people, you can’t decide who to serve and not serve,” Top Chef alum Elizabeth Falkner told PBS. Mary Jennifer Russell, the owner of a popular bakery in Mississippi, agreed, stating, "I can decide what to create and what to serve, but not to say I won’t serve it to a gay person, or a transgender person or a woman or a person of color.”

Other bakers who want the justices to recognize them as artists filed a brief in support of Phillips's case but does not take sides on the discrimination issue. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission found that Phillips's refusal goes against the state's antidiscrimination law — a ruling that has been upheld at every courthouse in the process leading up to the Supreme Court.

Although Phillips's refusal to serve same-sex couples comes from his religious beliefs, if baking and cake decorating are determined to be art, they would be entitled to the same constitutional protections as other artistic mediums.

Trump's Justice Department supports Masterpiece Cakeshop and believes businesses have the right to deny service to LGBT people.

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