A Colorado District Court Judge ruled against Masterpiece Cakeshop and its owner Jack Phillips for refusing to bake a cake that celebrated a Denver attorney’s gender transition.
In the 28-page ruling, Judge Bruce Jones said that Masterpiece Cakeshop violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) by not baking the cake.
The incident in question took place on the same day Phillips found out that the Supreme Court would hear his appeal to another alleged violation of CADA for telling a same-sex couple that he would not bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, Fox News reports. Autumn Scardina, an attorney in Denver, called Masterpiece Cakeshop to ask for a birthday cake that celebrated her gender transition. She asked for the cake to be pink on the inside and blue on the outside. Masterpiece Cakeshop said they would not provide the cake.
Scardina then proceeded to file a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and filed suit against Phillips in State Court. The complaint with the Civil Rights Commission was ultimately unsuccessful.
In his opinion, Judge Jones said Phillips would not be making a statement by baking the cake, but rather that the message would be sent by Scardina. CADA imposes a fine of no less than $50 and no more than $500, which is payable to Plaintiff. Jones ordered Phillips to pay Scardina $500.
“Jack Phillips serves all people, but shouldn’t be forced to create custom messages that violate his conscience. In this case, an activist attorney demanded that Jack create custom cakes in order to ‘test’ jack and ‘correct the errors’ of his thinking,” said Alliance Defending Freedom General Counsel Kristen Waggoner. “Radical activists and government officials are targeting artists like Jack because they won’t promote messages on marriage and sexuality that violate their core convictions.”
During virtual testimony in the trial in March, Scardina explained her reasoning behind her request for the cake. According to a local CBS news station, she claimed she heard Phillips say that he would sell any product other than a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. After the Supreme Court announced they would hear his case, Scardina called and placed the order. Scardina’s lawyer Paul Greisen asked if this was a setup. Scardina replied, saying that it was “more like calling someone’s bluff.”
Waggoner’s statement further characterized the treatment of Phillips as “the weaponization of our justice system to ruin those with whom the activists disagree.” Waggoner also promised that Phillips would continue to fight the decision, saying, “We will appeal this decision and continue to defend the freedom of all Americans to peacefully live and work according to their deeply held beliefs without fear of punishment.”
Photo courtesy: ©Alliance Defending Freedom
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”