COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina has joined the second fight over a Colorado man’s refusal to bake a cake for religious reasons.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Monday that he was one of 16 state attorneys general to sign on to a friend-of-the-court brief in Autumn Scardina v. Masterpiece Caskeshop and Jack Phillips.
Wilson joins the state attorneys general from Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and West Virginia.
The case began when Scardina requested that the cake shop create a custom cake to celebrate a gender transition. Phillips, the owner of the shop, refused on religious grounds.
The coalition argues that custom cakes are works of art and, therefore, should be protected by the First Amendment’s free exercise clause.
“The right to free speech is precious to all our citizens and cake bakers are no different,” Attorney General Wilson said. “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.”
In 2012, the cake shop and Phillips were sued after he refused to make a cake for a wedding of two people with the same gender. Phillips refused on religious grounds and the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled that his refusal to make a cake was protected by the First Amendment.