Hours after the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday, August 13 that a Colorado baker cannot cite his religious beliefs to refuse making a cake for a same-sex wedding, supporters of the baker have set up a crowd-funding website “to raise funds to support Jack Phillips and protect his freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” according to the website.
The campaign, funded through Continue to Give, a Christian crowd-funding website, set a goal of $200,000.
In 2012, same-sex couple Charlie Craig and David Millions were denied their request for a wedding cake. Phillips told them "I don't make cakes for same-sex weddings, but I'll sell you anything else in my shop, cookies, brownies,” according to the website. The couple then filed a complaint to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
When the case was brought to the Colorado Court of Appeals, the three-panel judge ruled that the baker cannot cite his religious beliefs to deny service to the same-sex couple.
Since the court’s ruling, Phillips has stopped baking wedding cakes, which has resulted in a 40 percent loss in revenue for Masterpiece Cakeshop.
Phillips also began to receive angry phone calls with “vile, hateful” messages about his refusal to bake the cake and about his faith.
"The calls were so vile, Jack would not allow the employees to answer the phone for weeks. The second day, a caller threatened to kill Jack as well as anyone in the bakery," the website states.
One anonymous contributor left an encouraging message for Phillips: “We appreciate you fighting this battle for the free speech of everyone.”
Another contributor wrote: “Keep fighting the good fight for freedom of speech and religion. Your contribution to this worldwide struggle for respect towards all people, and freedom to act in tandem with one's conscience, is so important. Thank you for this critical and significant work. God bless you and your family.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the website reports 12 percent of the goal of $200,000 has been raised.