A Christian bakery owner in Colorado has been fined for refusing to bake a cake in support of transgender ideology.
Jack Phillips, who runs Masterpiece Cakeshop, was taken to court by a customer, known as Autumn Scardina, after the baker turned down his request for a cake to celebrate his ‘transition’ from male to female.
In 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled that Phillips had faced “clear and impermissible hostility” after declining to produce a cake for a same-sex wedding.
Religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing Phillips, maintains that his shop declined the request because the customer specifically asked for a cake that expressed messages and celebrated an event in conflict with his religious beliefs.
But Denver District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones ruled that the case does not involve “compelled speech” and that Phillips simply discriminated against Scardina because he is transgender.
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”.
The lawsuit was originally filed by the State of Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission, which lost the previous case, over a same-sex wedding cake, in 2018.
But the Commission dropped Scardina’s case after Phillips countersued for harassment, and Scardina subsequently decided to pursue legal action privately.
ADF says it will appeal the ruling and the $500 fine.