Colorado baker Jack Phillips is going to court once again over his refusal to prepare a transgender-themed birthday cake.
A lawyer who asked him last year to create a birthday cake symbolizing her transition from male to female has sued Mr. Phillips in Denver District Court, three months after Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser dropped the case.
Autumn Scardina of Arvada, Colorado, is seeking damages against Mr. Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop for turning down her June 2017 request for a birthday cake that “reflects her status as a transgender female,” pink on the inside and blue on the outside.
“Before learning she is transgender, Masterpiece Cakeshop had agreed to make and sell a pink birthday cake with blue frosting to Ms. Scardina,” said the complaint filed June 5. “It was only upon learning of her status as a transgender woman that Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to refused to sell her a birthday cake.”
Attorneys for Mr. Phillips have argued that he refused the order because he refuses to create products that violate his Christian religious beliefs, not because he refuses to serve LGBT customers.
The conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Mr. Phillips in his June 2018 win at the U.S. Supreme Court over a gay wedding cake, is representing him once again in the transgender-cake matter.
ADF senior counsel Jim Campbell said the lawsuit “appears to largely rehash old claims.”
“The State of Colorado abandoned similar ones just a few months ago,” said Mr. Campbell in a statement. “So this latest attack by Scardina looks like yet another desperate attempt to harass cake artist Jack Phillips. And it stumbles over the one detail that matters most: Jack serves everyone; he just cannot express all messages through his custom cakes.”
This appears to be the first time Mr. Phillips has been sued by an individual over his refusal to create certain cakes. In the case that went to the Supreme Court, he sued the Colorado Civil Rights Commission over its ruling that he had violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.
He sued the commission again after it launched an investigation against him over the Scardina complaint, arguing that the state was harassing him. Both sides agreed to drop their litigation in March.
“After careful consideration of the facts, both sides agreed it was not in anyone’s best interest to move forward with these cases,” Mr. Weiser said in a March 5 statement. “The larger constitutional issues might well be decided down the road, but these cases will not be the vehicle for resolving them.”
The Washington Times Comment Policy
The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.