In response to Colorado’s penalizing of a Christian baker who refused to bake a cake for a non-traditional marriage ceremony, the Manhattan based National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs (COLPA) has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the baker on behalf of The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, andAgudath Israel of America, National Council of Young Israel, Rabbinical Council of America and the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada.
The brief, written by leading constitutional attorney Nathan Lewin, notes that “Jewish religious law evaluates and, in certain circumstances, forbids an observing Jew from assisting, in a meaningfully participatory manner, in the commission of violations of Torah law–even violations by non-Jews.” According to the brief, at the very least, the First Amendment’s Free Exercise clause protects “religious believers from being compelled by law to engage in conduct that their religion prohibits in order to enhance the ceremonies of individuals who can obtain equivalent participation from other sources but choose to force the believers to breach their religious commitments.”
“The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce is firmly committed to support the rights of Americans to conduct their business activities in accordance with their values and constitutional rights,” says Duvi Honig, Founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce. “I laud the diverse organizations who have joined in this effort. The power of our achdus is strong, and empowers us to be heard loud and clear.”