Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court last summer. After he declined on religious grounds to use his artistic talents to make a custom homosexual “wedding” cake, the men claimed discrimination and filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The commission ruled that he’d discriminated against the men.
The high court rejected that ruling, however, contending that the commission treated Phillips unfairly and his religion with contempt.
Colorado went after Phillips again. Testing him, a lawyer asked him to make a custom cake to celebrate gender “transition.” After he declined, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission filed a complaint against him. Phillips filed his own lawsuit against the harassment. The state asked the court to dismiss it, but the court refused.
Phillips may proceed against the government to protect his constitutional rights. From his legal counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom:
The attorney who requested the gender-transition cake later asked Phillips to design a cake with satanic themes and images—a request that Phillips also declined because of what the cake would communicate.
The district court ruled in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Elenis that evidence of unequal treatment remains. While the state “allow[s] other cake artists to decline requests to create custom cakes that express messages they deem objectionable and would not express for anyone,” Colorado treats Phillips differently. This “disparate treatment,” the court said, “reveals” the state officials’ ongoing “hostility towards Phillips, which is sufficient to establish they are pursuing the discrimination charges against Phillips in bad faith, motivated by Phillips’…religion….”