Colorado baker files appeal against transgender cake ruling

A Christian bakery owner who refused to bake a cake in support of transgender ideology is appealing for a court ruling against him to be overturned.

Jack Phillips, who runs Masterpiece Cakeshop, was taken to court by a transgender customer Autumn Scardina, who was born male but identifies as female, He turned down Scardina’s order when the customer said the cake was to celebrate his ‘gender transition’, which conflicted with Phillips’ religious beliefs.

In June 2021, the Denver District Court ruled that the case did not involve “compelled speech” and that Phillips discriminated against Scardina because he is transgender. Philips was fined $500 – the maximum penalty under Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act.


Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing Phillips, filed an appeal earlier this month, asking the court to “uphold Phillips’ First Amendment rights after a trial court issued a ruling that punished Phillips for declining to design a custom cake celebrating a gender transition”.

ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner said: “No one should be forced to express a message that violates their beliefs and conscience”.

When Phillips lost the initial case in June last year, Kristen Waggoner of ADF commented: “Radical activists and government officials are targeting artists like Jack because they won’t promote messages on marriage and sexuality that violate their core convictions.”

She said the case “represents a disturbing trend: the weaponization of our justice system to ruin those with whom the activists disagree” and that the harassment of people like Phillips “has been occurring for nearly a decade and must stop”.

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