On Thursday, the Justice Department filed a brief on behalf of Jack Phillips, a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for gay couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins in 2012 on the grounds that doing so would violate his religious beliefs, hence freedom, the Washington Post reports. The case will be judged by the Supreme Court.
Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the administration’s brief, “Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights.” In other words, this administration believes that baking cakes is a form of personal expression, and therefore qualifies as an acceptable vehicle for homophobia.
Deputy legal counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union, Louise Melling, commented on the administration’s decision to the Post, saying, “Even in an administration that has already made its hostility toward the gay community clear, I find this nothing short of shocking.”
The Trump administration has repeatedly, nastily demonstrated its unwillingness to safeguard the rights of LGBT people. In July, the Trump administration told a US appeals court that it did not believe federal law banned discrimination against gay employees. Around the same time, Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. Trump rescinded the Obama-era federal policy that protected transgender students’ right to use the bathroom of their choice in February. So this latest stunt isn’t shocking so much as icing, and the bigotry isn’t letting up anytime soon.