SC Attorney General joins brief supporting Colorado cake shop that refused to bake for gay, transgender customers

South Carolina News

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson on Monday joined an amicus brief supporting a Colorado cake shop that was sued for refusing to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition.

The suit, Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop Inc., is the second controversial case in which cake shop owner Jack Phillips has been involved.

The first was in 2012 when Phillips refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, claiming it violated his religious beliefs.

That case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that Phillips had the right to refuse the service under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

In the most recent case, Phillips refused to make a cake for a gender transition celebration, saying “it would violate [his] religious beliefs to send a message to anyone that he would celebrate a gender transition.”

Wilson and a group of 15 other state attorneys general are lobbying in support of “protecting business owners’ freedom of speech.”

Wilson said “the right to free speech is precious to all our citizens and cake bakers are no different. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled in favor of this same small business in a previous First Amendment case, so we know we’re on solid legal ground.”

Attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia signed on to the brief as well.

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