Jack Phillips has spent eight years fighting three separate legal battles against LGBT activists who want to destroy him and his business because he refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding. Now, his lawyers are saying enough is enough.
Phillips owns and operates Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado. He sells both pre-made and custom-made cakes along with other bakery items and merchandise.
In 2012, Phillips declined to make a custom-made wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage because it would violate his deeply held religious beliefs. For this, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) tried to punish him alleging that he violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA). However, on June 4, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips’ favor in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
In 2017, on the same day the Supreme Court announced it would take Phillips’ first case, lawyer Autumn Scardina called his cakeshop and asked him to make a cake with a blue exterior and a pink interior to celebrate Scardina’s “gender-transition” from male to female. Phillips again declined.
Scardina then filed a complaint with the CCRC alleging that Phillips violated the CADA. In response, Phillips countered by suing the CCRC, but dropped his case after the CCRC dismissed Scardina’s complaint.
After all this back and forth litigation, Scardina filed a new lawsuit in a Denver court on June 5, 2019 which Phillips has now asked the court to dismiss. The lawsuit against Phillips seeks to put him out of business by seeking monetary damages of more than $100,000 plus legal fees.
The pending case is being litigated in the district court in the county of Denver, Colorado.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has represented Phillips since his court battles began in 2012 and did so again before the district court on Thursday, April 9 when it asked the court to end Scardina’s recent lawsuit.
“I gladly serve everyone. I just can’t celebrate every event or express every message through my cake art,” Phillips said on a conference call following oral arguments that ADF made to the district court on April 9. “This lawsuit could cost me everything. I already lost 40% of my business and more than half of my employees during the first case. I still haven’t regained that income or been able to resume creating custom cake art for weddings.”
ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner said regarding Phillips’ latest case, “It’s time to move on and leave Jack alone. This new lawsuit is nothing more than an activist’s attempt to harass and ruin Jack because he won’t create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his conscience.”
“Jack’s victory at the Supreme Court was great news for everyone. Tolerance for good-faith differences of opinion is essential and the only way for diverse people with differing views to peacefully coexist,” Waggoner stated.
ADF Legal Counsel Jake Warner, who argued before the Colorado district court, said, “This attorney’s relentless pursuit of Jack was an obvious attempt to punish him for his views, banish him from the marketplace, and financially ruin him and his shop. For these reasons and others, we are asking the court to dismiss this case.”
Sometimes those who claim to be “tolerant” are actually the most intolerant.
Please continue to pray for Jack Phillips and his lawyers at ADF. Hopefully his wish will be granted, and he’ll get to go back to his life as a cakebaker soon enough.
The case is Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop Inc.
Photo from Alliance Defending Freedom
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