On Tuesday both Colorado and Masterpiece Cakeshop agreed to drop their ongoing litigation, ending a more than six-year-long legal battle.
Colorado Civil Rights Commission will dismiss the state action against Masterpiece. Jack Phillips, the owner, will in turn dismiss his federal case against Colorado.
“After careful consideration of the facts, both sides agreed it was not in anyone’s best interest to move forward with these cases. The larger constitutional issues might well be decided down the road, but these cases will not be the vehicle for resolving them,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said March 5.
He added that “Equal justice for all will continue to be a core value that we will uphold as we enforce our state’s and nation’s civil rights laws.”
Each side will hence cover their own legal fees. Weiser also said the agreement does not affect the ability of a transgender person, Autumn Scardina, from pursuing a claim against Phillips.
In October the state civil rights commission had issued a formal complaint against the cake shop, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the same commission had violated Phillips’ rights. The civil rights commission had prosecuted Phillips for declining to bake a cake marking a same-sex wedding ceremony on the grounds that doing so would violate his religious beliefs.
Later, Scardina requested that Phillips bake a cake celebrating a “gender transition”, which he declined, again because of his religious beliefs.
Scardina then filed a civil rights complaint when Phillips declined, charging discrimination on the basis of gender identity, a protected status under Colorado anti-discrimination law.
“I have and will always serve everyone who comes into my shop; I simply can’t celebrate events or express messages that conflict with my religious beliefs,” Phillips said. “The Supreme Court affirmed that government hostility against people of faith is unconstitutional, and that Colorado was hostile to my faith.”
Read more at Catholic News Agency.