Christian cakebaker Jack Phillips is – once again – asking the Colorado Supreme Court to uphold his right to refuse to create custom cakes that violate his deeply held beliefs.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because Jack has been down this exact road before.
In 2012, Jack politely refused to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. In 2018, he won a victory in that case at the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had expressed unconstitutional religious hostility towards him, giving Jack a First Amendment victory.
But on the very same day that the Supreme Court announced it would take up Jack’s first case, a hostile, transgender-identified attorney called Jack’s shop – Masterpiece Cakeshop – requesting that Jack create a “customed-designed cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside, that would symbolize and celebrate a gender transition.”
As a Christian who believes that sex is an innate biological trait, Jack kindly explained that he couldn’t do that.
In return, the attorney – Autumn Scardina – filed a lawsuit against Jack for allegedly discriminating against him because of his “gender identity.”
But as Jack’s lawyers with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) explain, “Phillips works with all people and always decides whether to take a project based on what message a cake will express, not who requests it.”
One’s supposed “gender identity” has nothing to do with it.
In fact, in this case, an activist attorney is intentionally discriminating against Jack because he is a Christian, and he wants to live as such. Scardina surely knows that there are hundreds of other cakeshops in Colorado that he could order his “gender transition” cake from. But he specifically wants Jack to do so, solely because Jack is a Christian.
That kind of bigoted, intolerant and intentional targeting is wrong – and it’s what Jack’s lawyers hope to prove in court.
As this new filing at the Colorado Supreme Court states, “Scardina’s request was a setup. Five years before, Scardina emailed Phillips twice – calling him a ‘bigot’ and a ‘hypocrite.’ … Scardina requested it to ‘correct’ the ‘errors of [Phillips’] thinking.’”
ADF is asking the court, on Jack’s behalf, to vindicate his right to only express messages in accordance with his religious beliefs.
“Free speech is for everyone. No one should be forced to express a message that violates their core beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner after the appeal was filed at the Colorado Supreme Court.
Over a decade ago, Colorado officials began targeting Jack, misusing state law to force him to create art celebrating messages he does not believe. Then an activist attorney continued that crusade. This cruelty must stop. One need not agree with Jack’s views to agree that no American should be compelled to express what they don’t believe.
Cultural winds may shift, but freedom of speech is foundational to our self-government and to the free and fearless pursuit of truth.
The Daily Citizen will keep you updated of important developments in this case.
The case is Masterpiece Cakeshop Inc., and Jack Phillips v. Autumn Scardina.
Jack Phillips has been interviewed on the Focus on the Family Broadcast to discuss his legal fight, and how his Christian faith has sustained him. To listen to “Loving Others While Standing by My Beliefs” with Jack Phillips, click here.
Additionally, you can purchase a copy of Jack’s book, The Cost of My Faith: How a Decision in My Cake Shop Took Me to the Supreme Court, here.
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Photo from Alliance Defending Freedom.