The state and the homosexual lobby have hounded Christian baker Jack Phillips for over 10 years. He believes what the Bible teaches about marriage — that it is the God-ordained union between one man and one woman.
Phillips refused to use his artistic talents to make a custom cake for a homosexual “wedding.” He also opposes making custom cakes for Halloween or bachelor parties.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission claimed that Phillips violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) and sued him. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor in 2018.
In a 7-2 decision, the court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was hostile to the baker’s religious views. Two of the leftist justices voted with the majority.
But it wasn’t over for Phillips. He still faced harassment. A man pretending to be a woman and calling himself Autumn Scardina asked Phillips to make a custom “transitioning” cake, knowing he would refuse. Phillips declined to use his artistic talents in this way.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission dismissed Scardina’s claim, and he filled a lawsuit against Phillips.
A court in 2021 dismissed Scardina’s “unfair or deceptive trade practices” claim but allowed the discrimination claim. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Phillip’s legal counsel, just announced that the court ruled against him.
“Turning to the constitutional issues presented, the division concludes that the act of baking a pink cake with blue frosting does not constitute protected speech under the First Amendment,” the court wrote. “Additionally, the division concludes that CADA’s prohibition against discrimination based on a person’s transgender status does not violate a proprietor’s right to freely exercise or express their religion.
The CADA prohibition definitely does violate a proprietor’s right to freely exercise or express his religion if the state mandates that the proprietor endorse a message he opposes and provide services he does not wish to provide based on religious beliefs. Phillips and others who don’t want to violate the tenets of their faith face fines and loss of livelihood.
But the Supreme Court might have something to say about CADA after hearing arguments in a similar case.
“The same law being used to punish Jack is also at issue now at the U.S. Supreme Court in 303 Creative v. Elenis,” ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner said, “and the Court there should reject Colorado’s attempt to mandate orthodoxy and drive views it disfavors from the public square and affirm that graphic artist Lorie Smith and all artists—writers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, calligraphers, cake artists, and more—have the right to create freely without fear of government punishment. Cultural winds may shift, but freedom of speech is foundational to our self-government and to the free and fearless pursuit of truth.”
Phillips will appeal the decision.
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