The Christian baker who won a Supreme Court case allowing him to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple appeared in a campaign ad against an openly gay candidate in the Colorado gubernatorial race.
The ad, published on Monday (October 22) by the Christian organisation Family Policy Alliance, stars Masterpiece baker Jack Phillips and invited voters to “take a stand with Jack” against Democratic candidate for governor Jared Polis.
The ad did not mention that Polis is openly gay, but depicted him as someone who would threaten people’s religious freedoms by appointing “even more radical members” to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC), a bipartisan discrimination watchdog who had ordered Phillips to “cease and desist from discriminating against same-sex couples.”
Phillips brought the case against the CCRC to the Supreme Court, which ruled in his favour in June by a margin of 7-2. The Court found that Colorado had violated the Christian baker’s ‘religious freedom’ protections. Phillips has since been embroiled in further legal controversy after refusing to bake a cake celebrating a transgender woman’s one-year anniversary since her transition.
The Family Policy Alliance, whose stated mission is to “advance biblical citizenship,” made a reference to this new case, writing: “Jack Phillips is being attacked AGAIN by the state of Colorado for his Christian faith. Take a stand for Jack and for Faith this November,” in one of their Facebook posts promoting the campaign ad.
Polis is currently leading his Republican opponent Walker Stapleton by at least 12 points, according to recent polling data quoted in local news outlet KUNC ahead of the November 6 midterm elections, which include votes for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 33 seats in the Senate seats and 34 state Governors.
Polis, who was elected as a congressional representative for Colorado’s second district in 2008 as only the sixth openly gay person—and first openly gay parent—to serve in the House of Representatives, could become the US’ first openly gay governor if he wins in November.
The Family Policy Alliance ad isn’t the first attack Polis has been subject to in the race to succeed the incumbent democrat governor John Hickenlooper.
In August, Colorado’s Jefferson County Republican Party referred to Polis, who is Jewish, as a “brown shirt” in a Facebook post which was later removed.
“Jared Polis has a new club ‘How to be a brown shirt for fun & profit,’” the post read.
The term refers to the uniforms worn by members of the Sturmabteilung, the original paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party which played a major role in Hitler’s rise to power.