A Vermont judge has denied a defense motion, refusing to throw out the case against Chuck and Susan Baker, Catholic owners of a printing business who were sued by the ACLU when they refused to print membership materials for Catholics for Free Choice, a pro-abortion group.
The ACLU claimed that the Bakers’ refusal to print the job violated a state antidiscrimination law and filed suit seeking an injunction which would force the Bakers to print the objectionable materials and an award of attorney fees.
The Bakers argued at a hearing in March that their refusal to print the membership cards was not an act of discrimination, but rather a matter of principle because they would not have printed pro-abortion materials for anyone, “whether ‘Catholics for Choice’ or ‘Jews for Choice’ or ‘Protestants for Choice.”‘
Unfortunately, the court did not accept the Bakers’argument and refused to dismiss the case. By denying the Baker’s motion for summary judgment, the court has paved the way for the matter to go to trial. A trial date has not yet been set.
The Bakers have been represented in their ordeal by Dan Lynch, a local attorney; the Catholic League, Free Speech Advocates, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism and the American Center for Law and Justice have joined in the Bakers’ defense.
On August 22, in a broadcast debate with Massachusetts executive director Joe Doyle, Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for Free Choice, admitted that her organization was “not a membership organization.” In light of that public admission one might ask just what the Bakers were supposed to print.