Christian baker back in court after refusing to make custom cake for transgender woman

The Colorado bakery owner who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex couple has returned to federal court — now for declining to bake a cake for a transgender woman.

The Supreme Court ruled in June that Jack Phillips — owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop — had the legal right to decline service to a same-sex couple due to his Christian religious beliefs.

Phillips is now suing Colorado after the state’s civil rights commission found probable cause that the baker had used unlawful discrimination when he declined service to a transgender woman, Autumn Scardina, who had asked him to make a cake commemorating an anniversary of her transition.

“Both Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop serve everyone. All people—no matter who they are, what they believe, or what protected characteristics they have—are welcome in Phillips’s shop and may purchase anything available for sale,” reads the lawsuit filed Tuesday by Phillips’ attorneys.

Cake was to have a blue exterior that surrounded a pink interior

“But as a devout man of faith, Phillips cannot create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his religious beliefs.”

The Colorado Civil Rights Division contends in its determination that Scardina contacted Phillips about baking the custom cake on June 26, 2017. She wanted to the cake to have a blue exterior that surrounded a pink interior.

 

The commission submitted its decision on June 28, 2018. About three weeks earlier, the Supreme Court had sided with Phillips in the previous court case with a 7-2 vote.

“It is now clear that Colorado will not rest until Phillips either closes Masterpiece Cakeshop or agrees to violate his religious beliefs,” Phillips’ attorneys charge in Tuesday’s filing.

“The state’s continuing efforts to target Phillips do not just violate the Constitution; they cross the line into bad faith. This Court should put a stop to Colorado’s unconstitutional bullying.”

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