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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

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Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2018 07:26 PM

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Colorado Baker: We've Received Death Threats And Intimidation Since Case Filed....Supreme Court Has Case In Hand After Arguments Tuesday

The Supreme Court on Tuesday listened to opening remarks in a hot-button case pitting religious and artistic conviction against discrimination targeting the LGBT community.

In 2012, Colorado baker Jack Phillips refused to design a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple, citing his Christian faith.

The couple filed a lawsuit and the ensuing legal battle has raged for more than five years.

In a "Fox & Friends" exclusive interview, Phillips said he hopes the Supreme Court agrees with his argument that being forced to use his artistic talents to celebrate a same-sex marriage would violate his faith and his artistic freedom.

What to Know About the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court Case

"They were asking me to make a cake that would celebrate a view of marriage that goes against the core values of my faith's view on marriage," he explained.

Kristen Waggoner, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom who's representing Phillips, noted that he offered to sell the couple anything else in his shop or to design a cake for them for another occasion.

"It was simply the event and the message that they were asking for at this time," Waggoner said.

She said this case is about more than wedding cakes, and it has major implications for all creative artists.

"The same law that applies to Jack and forces him to violate his conscience applies to an atheist singer who would have to perform in an Easter religious service or a Catholic filmmaker that would have to promote the Church of Scientology or an oil painter that would have to paint a portrait of Mohammad and violating their convictions," she argued.

Phillips said Masterpiece Cakeshop has been forced to surrender their wedding cake business, which made up about 40 percent of their income. They have also lost more than half their employees and still receive harassment and death threats to this day.

"We just hope that the court will rule in favor of creative professionals so that I can go back to making the cakes that I can according to my conscience and that nobody else will have to endure what we have for the last five years," Phillips said.