South Carolina AG joins brief in support of Colorado cake shop that refused to make gender transition cake

State - Regional

FILE – In this April 30, 2021 file photo, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson speaks to attendees at the Richland County GOP convention in Columbia, S.C. The University of South Carolina can’t lawfully require students and staff to wear face coverings on campus this fall, despite increasing cases of coronavirus, thanks to recent legislative action, according to the state’s top prosecutor. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined 16 other attorneys general in support of a Colorado cake shop that refused to make a cake celebrating a gender transition.

Wilson, in a news release, says the amicus brief supports “free speech rights of small business owners.” The brief claims cakes are works of art and should be protected by the First Amendment.

“The right to free speech is precious to all our citizens and cake bakers are no different,” Wilson said in the news release. “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.”

Jack Philips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, was sued after not making a custom cake celebrating a gender transition because “[i]t would violate [his] religious beliefs to send a message to anyone that he would celebrate a gender transition,” according to the news release.

A trial court found that Philips violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act and said he wasn’t protected by the First Amendment in this case, according to the news release.

Philips previously refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple, citing his religious beliefs. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor.

Other states joining the amicus brief are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia, according to the release.

Read a full copy of the brief here.

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