Tuesday October 16th, 2018 2:05AM

Prominent chefs oppose baker in major gay rights case

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prominent chefs, bakers and restaurant owners want the Supreme Court to rule against a Colorado baker who wouldn't make a cake for a same-sex couple's wedding.

The food makers say that once they open their doors for business, they don't get to choose their customers. They say that abiding by laws that bar discrimination based on sexual orientation does not strip them of creative control of a dish or a pastry.

Celebrity chefs Jose Andres, Elizabeth Falkner and Carla Hall, the owners of a popular Washington, D.C., cupcake shop and a small-town baker from Mississippi are among those who are signing onto a legal brief being written by the Human Rights Campaign.

Cake artists who want the justices to recognize the artistic expression in cake-baking filed a separate brief last month that does not take sides in the case.

The case pits the rights of a gay couple against baker Jack Phillips' religious objections to same-sex marriage. The case will be argued on Dec. 5.

Phillips owns the Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver. In 2012, he told Charlie Craig and David Mullins that he would not make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

The couple complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that Phillips violated the state's anti-discrimination law. Phillips lost at every step in the legal process before the Supreme Court agreed in June to hear his case.

While Phillips' religious beliefs about same-sex marriage underlie the case, the main argument he is making at the Supreme Court is that, as an artist, he cannot be compelled to create a cake at odds with his views.

The chefs, bakers and restaurateurs who are part of the Human Rights Campaign effort say that anti-discrimination laws in Colorado and 21 other states are reasonable regulations that don't stifle their artistic creativity.

"It's not about your art. When you're open to service to people, you can't decide who to serve and not serve," said Falkner, who has owned restaurants in New York and San Francisco and been both a contestant and judge on cooking competitions.

Mary Jennifer Russell, owner of Sugaree's Bakery in New Albany, Mississippi, said, "I can decide what to create and what to serve, but not to say I won't serve it to a gay person, or a transgender person or a woman or a person of color."

Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, a co-owner of Washington's Georgetown Cupcake, said she and her sister, Katherine Kallinis Berman, want the Supreme Court to hear from bakers and chefs "why we believe it's so important that they don't allow businesses to discriminate. This is about doing the right thing and welcoming all."

Last month, 11 cake artists submitted a brief that looked almost good enough to eat. It contained dozens of pictures of extravagant and finely detailed cakes, including multitiered cakes for same-sex weddings.

The point of the brief was to show that the cakes are works of art and are entitled to the same constitutional protection as artworks in other mediums.

The cake artists do not call for the court to rule one way or another, but their argument fits nicely with the one being advanced by Phillips.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Entertainment, AP Online TV News, AP Business
© Copyright 2018
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US-backed Syrian force declares victory over IS in Raqqa
US-backed Syrian force declares victory over IS in northern city of Raqqa, days after pushing militants out
10:09AM ( 3 minutes ago )
TV Academy votes to consider expelling Harvey Weinstein
The Television Academy says it has voted to begin disciplinary proceedings against disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein
10:07AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Pope sends rare condolence after Malta journalist is slain
Pope Francis has sent a letter of condolences to Malta following the car bomb slaying of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia
10:06AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Spain's leader prepares to unveil specific Catalan measures
Spain's prime minister says that his government is preparing to unveil specific measures agreed with opposition parties to halt Catalonia's independence bid
9:09AM ( 1 hour ago )
Evoking slain son, Kelly defends Trump on condolence calls
White House chief of staff John Kelly denounces Rep. Wilson, defends Trump's phone call to soldier's widow
9:02AM ( 1 hour ago )
Attorney to detail another rape allegation against Weinstein
Attorney to detail new rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein
8:58AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
E! cancels Joan Rivers' 'Fashion Police' after 22-year run
E!'s long-running series, "Fashion Police," will come to an end next month with a special finale episode featuring its late host and co-creator Joan Rivers
7:21AM ( 2 hours ago )
Selena Gomez, Brie Larson among presenters at InStyle Awards
Selena Gomez, Brie Larson, Faith Hill and Kate Bosworth are among the presenters set to hand out honors at next week's InStyle Awards
7:19AM ( 2 hours ago )
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: Senators face task of tax overhaul; Drone footage shows devastation in Syrian city; Obama back in political spotlight; Border wall prototypes under construction
6:23AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Sen. John McCain to visit daughter on 'The View'
Sen. John McCain is booked to visit his daughter Meghan on television's 'The View' on Monday, her 33rd birthday
4:32PM ( 17 hours ago )
'Breaking Bad' actors will host fundraiser for Puerto Rico
Two actors from the AMC-TV hit series "Breaking Bad" are hosting a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
2:12PM ( 19 hours ago )
'Breaking Bad' actors hosting fundraiser for Puerto Rico
Two actors from the AMC-TV hit series "Breaking Bad" are hosting a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
1:53PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Online TV News
The Latest: German business supports EU stance on Brexit
Germany's main business group is supporting European Union leaders' refusal to move ahead immediately with talks on the future relationship with Britain
9:22AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Hurricanes, earthquakes estimated to cost insurers $95B
Swiss Re, one of the world's biggest reinsurers, estimates that Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, two recent earthquakes in Mexico will cost the industry about $95 billion
9:16AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Butter shortage in France amid global demand for pastries
French pastries, and butter, have become so popular abroad that the increased demand led to a mini shortage of the dairy product in French supermarkets
8:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
US-backed Syrian force declares victory over IS in Raqqa
US-backed Syrian force declares victory over IS in northern city of Raqqa, days after pushing militants out
10:09AM ( 3 minutes ago )
Power to the people: 2 Italy regions to hold autonomy votes
It is greater autonomy __ not independence __ that two of Italy's wealthiest regions are seeking in a pair of non-binding referendums next weekend, yet Catalonia's secessionist ambitions loom over the debate
9:58AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Kenya's police say 4 killed in opposition demonstrations
Kenya's police say 4 killed in opposition demonstrations in recent days as new vote approaches
9:50AM ( 22 minutes ago )
France's Macron: Trump pushes EU closer together
French President Emmanuel Macron says the uncertainty about U.S. President Donald Trump's foreign policies has made European countries closer
9:42AM ( 30 minutes ago )
EU leaders struggle to break through Brexit talks impasse
Leaders of Britain and the 27 other European Union members agreed Friday that much remains to be done in Brexit talks amid deep divisions about the terms of their breakup, particularly on how much London should pay in the divorce
9:40AM ( 32 minutes ago )