Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, is heading to court for reportedly refusing to decorate a cake celebrating a gender transition.
Does this story sound familiar? It should because this is the very same Jack Phillips that took a case to the United States Supreme Court after he was sued for refusing to decorate a cake for a gay couple.
Phillips declined to use his services to decorate both cakes on religious grounds.
Now, Phillips is heading back into a legal feud—which some people are calling a coordinated attack on Phillips.
From ABC 7:
Attorneys for a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple on religious grounds – a stand partially upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court – argued in federal court Tuesday that the state is punishing him again over his refusal to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition.
Lawyers for Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, are suing to try to stop the state from taking action against him over the new discrimination allegation. They say the state is treating Phillips with hostility because of his Christian faith and pressing a complaint that they call an “obvious setup.”
“At this point, he’s just a guy who is trying to get back to life. The problem is the state of Colorado won’t let him,” Jim Campbell, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said after the hearing. The conservative Christian nonprofit law firm is representing Phillips.
According to the report, The Colorado Civil Rights Commission accused Phillips of discrimination when he refused to accommodate Denver attorney Autumn Scardina, who is a biological male and later transitioned to a female.
ABC 7 reports Phillips’ shop refused Scardina’s request for a cake that was “blue on the outside and pink on the inside after Scardina revealed she wanted it to celebrate her transition from male to female.”
Scardina reportedly requested the cake last year, on the very day that the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would be hearing Phillips’ case against gay couple Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins—a case that started in 2012.
The case between Phillips and the couple ultimately went to the nation’s highest court in 2018 and went in the favor of the cake maker.
“The Supreme Court ruled in June that the Colorado commission showed anti-religious bias when it sanctioned Phillips for refusing to make the cake, voting 7-2 that it violated Phillips’ First Amendment rights,” ABC 7 reports.
During and following the case, Phillips claimed he and his small shop has suffered harassment and even death threats.
From the report:
Phillips’ lawsuit alleges that Colorado violated his First Amendment right to practice his faith and 14th Amendment right to equal protection. It seeks $100,000 in punitive damages from Aubrey Elenis, director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
In the lawsuit, Phillips’ attorneys say he “believes as a matter of religious conviction that sex – the status of being male or female – is given by God, is biologically determined, is not determined by perceptions or feelings, and cannot be chosen or changed.”
It claims Phillips has been harassed and received death threats and that his small shop was vandalized while the wedding cake case made its way through the courts.
Some people online said the new lawsuit seemed targeted directly at Phillips.
“Couldn’t they just go to another baker? Let’s face it. This is not about the cake,” one user wrote.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.