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A battle between religious freedom and gay rights is unfolding in Colorado.
A gay couple has filed a discrimination complaint against Masterpiece Cakeshop after the co-owner, Jack Phillips, refused to sell them a wedding cake because of his Christian faith.
The couple planned to marry in Massachusetts and celebrate in Colorado, where civil unions are legal. Colorado law does not provide religious protections for businesses.
"Religious freedom is a fundamental right in America and it's something that we champion at the ACLU," said Mark Silverstein, the legal director of the group in Colorado, which filed the complaint on behalf of the couple.
"We are all entitled to our religious beliefs and we fight for that. But someone's personal religious beliefs don't justify breaking the law by discriminating against others in the public sphere," he said.
If Phillips loses the case and continues to refuse making cakes, he would face fines of $500 per case and up to a year in jail.
His attorney Nicolle Martin said, "It would force him to choose between his conscience and a paycheck. I just think that's an intolerable choice."
"We don't believe that this is a case about commerce. At its heart, this is a case about conscience," she said.
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