You may remember Jack Phillips as the Colorado baker and owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop who was sued after he declined to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple’s wedding in 2012, based on his religious convictions. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled by a 7-2 margin in Phillips’ favor in a narrow ruling based on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showing of anti-religious discrimination against Phillips. The Supremes punted on the real issue of whether business owners may refuse customers for religious reasons. That decision came down last year.
In 2017, a transgender attorney named Autumn Scardina requested a custom cake celebrating her gender transition. Phillips again declined based on his religious convictions. Scardina filed a complaint with the civil rights commission, and in response Phillips sued the state of Colorado for discrimination. The parties mutually agreed to drop their suits in March of this year.
Phillips said he has been asked by customers – mostly in phone calls – to bake cakes that violate his Christian religion dozens of times since the high court announced it was taking his case. He always declines. Phillips also declines to bake cakes that are disrespectful of LGTBQ people or celebrate Halloween, he said.
Apparently, he’s gotten requests for cakes with Satanic messages, pentagrams, and even one that wanted a 9” black dildo on top of the cake that could be turned on before presentation.
“I’ll serve everybody who comes into my shop, it’s just that I don’t create every cake with every message,” he said in a February interview with CPR News.
Wow, he’s so hateful – declining to use his talents to make cakes promoting messages he disagrees with, including anti-LGBT messages.
Anyway, now Phillips has been sued a THIRD TIME for supposed LGBT discrimination. Transgender attorney Autumn Scardina is once again on the other side:
“A new lawsuit has been filed against Masterpiece Cakeshop that appears to largely rehash old claims. The State of Colorado abandoned similar ones just a few months ago. So this latest attack by Autumn 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.
The big difference this time is that the state of Colorado isn’t involved: this time, instead of filing a complaint with the state’s civil rights commission, Scardina sued Phillips directly. Scardina hopes that will force the courts to decide whether Phillips’ decision not to bake her custom cake amounted to discrimination under Colorado law.
Honestly, I feel bad for the guy. He’s just trying to run a cake shop, and he cannot catch a break. He tried referring the customers to other local cake shops that would be happy to make the custom cakes that he won’t but that’s not enough for these people.
This comes just days after the Washington Supreme Court ruled against a florist who refused to serve a gay couple’s wedding. As these cases keep coming, I’m sure one will make it up to the U.S. Supreme Court in the next few years. Hopefully they’ll rule on the real issue next time.
Now I want cake. Maybe I’ll stop by Masterpiece Cakeshop this afternoon.