Colorado baker Jack Phillips, whose refusal to make a same-sex wedding cake on religious grounds went to the Supreme Court, is currently fighting a ruling that he violated the state’s anti-discrimination law for refusing to bake a cake to celebrate a gender transition.
In arguments before Colorado’s appeals court Oct. 5, Phillips’ attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom urged the court to overturn a ruling issued last year against their client on procedural grounds and said the court should uphold Phillips’ First Amendment rights.
Phillips was sued by a transgender person, Autumn Scardina, who ordered a pink cake with blue frosting from Phillips’ shop, Masterpiece Cakeshop in 2017.
During the 2021 trial, according to The Associated Press, Phillips said he believes someone cannot change genders and he did not celebrate “somebody who thinks that they can.”
His attorney Jake Warner has said in a statement that requiring Phillips to create a cake with a message contrary to his religious beliefs violates his free speech rights.
Scardina initially filed a complaint against Phillips with the state and the civil rights commission, which found probable cause that Phillips had discriminated against the person. Phillips, in turn, filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Colorado saying it was engaged in a “crusade to crush” him by pursuing Scardina’s complaint.
AP reported that during last year’s trial over the lawsuit against the baker, Denver District Judge A. Bruce Jones rejected Phillips’ argument that making the cake would constitute compelled speech.
The judge said the cake was simply a product and couldn’t be withheld from people protected by the state’s anti-discrimination law. He said Phillips’ refusal to provide the cake was “inextricably intertwined” with his refusal to recognize Scardina as a woman.
Full story at Catholic News.