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Trump backs Christian baker in gay-cake case

Donald Trump’s administration is backing a Christian baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple in a landmark case at the US Supreme Court.
The unusually forthright brief from the Department of Justice urged the judges to back Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, who says making a cake for a same-sex couple violates his religious liberty.
The lawsuit will be one of the most important to be heard this term and the intervention from Trump’s administration caused fury among LGBT activists.
Siding with the Christian backer, Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall wrote for the Justice Department: ‘Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights.’
The friend-of-the-court brief added: ‘The government may not enact content-based laws commanding a speaker to engage in protected expression: An artist cannot be forced to paint, a musician cannot be forced to play, and a poet cannot be forced to write.’
The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the couple, blasted the administration’s intervention.
‘This Justice Department has already made its hostility to the rights of LGBT people and so many others crystal clear,’ said Louise Melling, ACLU’s deputy legal director. ‘But this brief was shocking, even for this administration. What the Trump Administration is advocating for is nothing short of a constitutional right to discriminate.’
But Kristen Waggoner, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom representing Philipps, said: ‘Nobody should be forced to choose between their profession and their faith.

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