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Halt the hostility: Colorado baker forced back to court by state persecution

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Masterpiece Cakeshop and its owner, Jack Phillips, filed a motion in federal court Tuesday to stop Colorado officials from violating his constitutional rights while Phillips’ lawsuit against them proceeds.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that Colorado cannot treat Phillips differently than other cake artists who decline custom projects based on the messages they convey, the state has continued to apply a double standard and demonstrate hostility toward him and his beliefs.

On June 26, 2017, the same day that the Supreme Court agreed to take up Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, an attorney asked Masterpiece Cakeshop to create a cake designed pink on the inside and blue on the outside, a design that the attorney said would reflect and celebrate a transition from male to female.

According to sources other than ADF, the lawyer in question is transgender activist Autumn Sardina, who repeatedly called the cake shop over a year with increasingly bizarre requests, including cakes with explicit sexual and blasphemous imagery. But it was Sardina’s request for a pink and blue cake to mark the seventh anniversary of his/her transition that brought the Colorado Civil Rights Commission down on him again for discrimination.

Earlier this month the commission filed a formal complaint against Phillips.

“The same agency that the Supreme Court just said is hostile to Jack Phillips remains committed to treating him unequally and forcing him to express messages that violate his religious beliefs,” said ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner, who argued on behalf of Phillips before the Supreme Court in his first case.

“Jack serves all customers, and he is happy to serve the attorney who lodged the complaint against him. But Jack doesn’t create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events that contradict his deeply held beliefs. Apparently, that isn’t enough for the commission. It insists on forcing Jack to celebrate ideas and events that violate his faith.”

ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell, who along with Waggoner is also representing Phillips in his current lawsuit, adds:

“Even though the state is refusing to respond to public-records requests and fighting to keep us from obtaining basic information about the commission, we have already discovered that a current commissioner has publicly referred to Jack as the ‘cake hater’. Jack has no chance of obtaining justice before people who say such things. That’s why we’re asking the federal court to put an end to the state’s efforts to punish him.”

Read more at Mercatornet. 

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