Jack Phillips, who recently won his lawsuit against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission before the Supreme Court, will go to court again over the Commission’s decision in another complaint filed the same day the Supreme Court agreed to take up Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
An attorney, Autumn Scardina, asked Phillips to create a cake that was pink on the inside and blue on the outside which was to represent a gender transition from male to female. Phillips declined because the custom cake would express messages about sex and gender identity that conflicted with his religious beliefs.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission on June 28, 2018, less than a month after the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Supreme Court ruling, found probable cause to believe that Colorado law requires him to create the requested gender-transition cake.
Read the complaint and probable cause determination below:
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed another lawsuit, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Elenis, on behalf of Phillips in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
“The U.S. 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 (“Phillips”) because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith.1 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. This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips,” the lawsuit explains.
“It is now clear that Colorado will not rest until Phillips either closes Masterpiece Cakeshop or agrees to violate his religious beliefs. The state’s continuing efforts to target Phillips do not just violate the Constitution; they cross the line into bad faith. This Court should put a stop to Colorado’s unconstitutional bullying,” the lawsuit continues.
“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,” ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner said. “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. Neither Jack nor any other creative professionals should be targeted by the government for living consistently with their religious beliefs.”
ADF said the State of Colorado admitted in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission that cake artists are free to decline custom cakes with a “specific design.” That includes orders for wedding cakes that “featur[e] a symbol of gay pride,” cakes that contain “pro-gay designs or inscriptions,” or cakes with images opposing same-sex marriage. The state’s Civil Rights Commission has not found probable cause in any other case where a cake artist denied to create a custom cake.
“The arbitrary basis on which the state is applying its law makes clear that its officials are targeting Jack because they despise his religious beliefs and practices,” ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell said. “Jack shouldn’t have to fear government hostility when he opens his shop for business each day. We’re asking the court to put a stop to that.”
Read the lawsuit ADF filed: