Counsel for Jack Phillips, the Christian baker made famous for his refusal to bake a custom-made cake for a homosexual wedding, claimed that a Colorado judge’s rulings earlier this week against him is nothing more than a “repeat of earlier mistakes” that were previously mirrored in an earlier case.
Big League politics has previously reported on the anti first amendment attacks levied at Jack Phillips in retaliation for not baking a homosexual wedding cake.
“Jack Philips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, was first sued in 2012 for refusing to bake a cake to commemorate a homosexual wedding. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission signed off onto the legal campaign against Philips, accusing him of legally discriminating against a homosexual couple for declining to bake the cake. Philips was ultimately vindicated by the Supreme Court, which ruled that the state of Colorado had demonstrated “hostility” to his Christian beliefs, citing comparisons to his personal business choices with the Holocaust and slavery.
Now, Philips is being sued again for declining to bake a cake commemorating someone’s transgender transition. Civil proceedings against Masterpiece Cakeshop started again on Monday, with plantiff Autumn Scardina targeting the devout Christian for refusing to bake a pro-transgenderism cake.”
“Why not just bake the cake? That’s a question Jack Phillips gets asked a lot. Avoid years of litigation, avoid the death threats. Just make the cake. But Jack Phillips sees himself as an artist, and the cake as an expression of his soul,” argued one of Philips’ attorneys.”
More on that can be found here.
According to Phillips’ attorney Jonathan Scruggs, District Judge A. Bruce Jones “got fundamental things wrong with the facts and the law” when ruling on Tuesday that Phillips violated state anti-discrimination law by refusing to bake a cake celebrating gender transition.
Jones ruled in favor of plaintiff Autumn Scardina, a Colorado attorney who sued Phillips after he refused to make a cake celebrating a “gender transition”, arguing that Phillips’s refusal violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. The ruling requires Phillips to pay a $500 fine.
“The anti-discrimination laws are intended to ensure that members of our society who have historically been treated unfairly, who have been deprived of even the every-day right to access businesses to buy products, are no longer treated as ‘others,’” Jones wrote in the decision. “This case is about one such product — a pink and blue birthday cake — and not compelled speech.”
Attorney’s of Phillips argued that his decision to not bake a same sex marriage or gender transition cake has nothing to do with dissemination at all, rather that it is prohibited by his religious beliefs. Consequently, forcing Phillips to create such an item would be a violation of his first amendment rights.
“They are confusing this idea that, because Jack doesn’t want to convey a message he disagrees with, they think that violates the anti-discrimination law,” they said.
Scruggs, who is senior counsel and director of the Center for Conscience Initiatives at Alliance Defending Freedom, told the Washington Examiner: “The heart of this case is whether a person can be forced by the government to convey a message they disagree with.”
Phillips and his legal team have repeatedly stressed that any customer will be given service at Masterpiece Cakeshop, the business will just not be coerced into creating messages that they do not agree with.
“And that’s our entire argument — that it doesn’t matter about the ‘who.’ It’s about what is the message that it celebrates,” Scruggs said.