In spite of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in his favor, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission has once again targeted Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips for refusing to bake a “gender-transition” cake.
Attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a non-profit organization that defends religious freedom, say the incident leading up to the new charges occurred on the same day that the Supreme Court agreed to take on Phillips case after he was charged with violating the state’s non-discrimination laws when refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. On that day, a local attorney asked Phillips to create a cake designed to be pink on the inside and blue on the outside, which the attorney said was to celebrate a gender transition from male to female. Phillips declined the request because the custom cake would have expressed messages about sex and gender identity that conflict with his religious beliefs.
This lead to a complaint being filed against him. Less than a month after the Supreme Court ruled for Phillips in his first case, the state surprised him by finding probable cause to believe that Colorado law requires him to create the requested gender-transition cake.
According to ADF attorneys, this case is even more baseless than the first.
“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” said ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner. “Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him—something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”
As the new lawsuit explains, “The Constitution stands as a bulwark against state officials who target people—and seek to ruin their lives—because of the government’s anti-religious animus. For over six years now, Colorado has been on a crusade to crush Plaintiff Jack Phillips…because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith. After Phillips defended himself all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won, he thought Colorado’s hostility toward his faith was over. He was wrong. Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor.”
Enough is enough. The ADF is now “going on offense” and suing the state of Colorado on Jack’s behalf for its blatant targeting of him.
“You would think that a clear Supreme Court decision against their first effort would give them pause,” the ADF writes. “But it seems like some in the state government are hell-bent on punishing Jack for living according to his faith.
“If that isn’t hostility, what is?”
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