After fighting a grueling seven-year legal battle for respectfully declining to create a cake for a same-sex wedding, openly Christian baker Jack Phillips landed a 7-to-2 ruling in his favor at the Supreme Court.
The win was not enough, however; the same Colorado agency that went after Phillips over the same-sex wedding cake then sued the cake artist for refusing to create a gender-transition celebration cake. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the religious liberty legal organization representing Phillips, got the case dismissed.
But the targeting did not stop even there.
“The individual who requested the gender-transition cake (and who also happens to be an attorney) wasn’t satisfied and decided to sue Jack in state court,” ADF announced in a press release issued Wednesday.
“On June 26, 2017, a local attorney named Autumn Scardina called Masterpiece Cakeshop and requested a custom cake: designed blue on the outside and pink on the inside to celebrate and reflect Scardina’s transition from male to female. The shop declined the request because the message of the cake contradicts Jack’s religious belief that God creates us either male or female,” the ADF press release explained. “When Scardina filed a charge against Jack with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, it took the charge as an excuse to go after Jack again. It wasn’t until Jack sued the state for targeting him and ADF uncovered more evidence demonstrating the state’s anti-religious hostility that Colorado officials finally ended their crusade against him.”
The Colorado Civil Rights Division abandoned the case, but Scardina was not finished. The attorney “waited until long after the deadline to appeal that decision passed, and then decided to start over somewhere else. Scardina has now sued Jack again about the same gender-transition cake request—only this time in a different court,” the organization noted.
The baker could now be forced to shell out $100,000 in damages, fines, and attorney’s fees, reported the Christian Post.
“We live in a country where freedom of speech and religious liberty are protected,” ADF argued. “While we may disagree on certain issues, we should all be free to live and work according to our beliefs. Jack Phillips, just like every creative professional, has the right to decline to use his artistic abilities to express messages or celebrate events he disagrees with.”
“But over the course of Jack’s legal battle, one thing has become abundantly clear: For some, it will never be enough to politely agree to disagree about important issues like the meaning of marriage or whether to celebrate a gender transition,” the organization’s statement continued. “It wasn’t enough for Jack to lose 40 percent of his business after Colorado pursued him the first time. It wasn’t enough for Jack to have to defend his freedoms all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And it wasn’t enough for Jack and his family to endure years of harassment and even death threats.”
“For some, it won’t be enough until Masterpiece Cakeshop closes its doors and Jack Phillips is in financial ruin. They want Jack, an average American business owner, to pay a hefty price—all because he wants to live according to his faith,” ADF added.
The district court heard oral arguments on Thursday.
A motion to dismiss the lawsuit has been filed by ADF.