The owner of a Colorado bakery, whose legal fight with two homosexual customers dates back to 2012, is asking the court to dismiss a new lawsuit filed by a transgender attorney.
Last week, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips and his Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys asked a state court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by “Autumn” Scardina, a Denver-based attorney who phoned Masterpiece and demanded a “gender transition” cake in 2017.
Scardina, who is biologically male but identifies as female, called Masterpiece to demand a blue-and-pink cake on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear what was expected to be a landmark case that was being watched closely by LGBT activists as well as law firms such as ADF that were involved in similar cases across the country.
After the cake request was turned down, Scardina filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. That is the same one that went after Phillips eight years ago, but this time the commission refused to pursue the transgender attorney’s complaint and dropped it.
Phillips, meanwhile, threatened to sue the commission if it came after him again.
ADF is now asking the state court to dismiss Scardina’s newest lawsuit on the grounds the attorney filed a new complaint instead of filing an appeal after losing his case before the civil rights commission.
“It’s time to move on and leave Jack alone,” ADF attorney Kristin Waggoner says of her client. “This new lawsuit is nothing more than an activist’s attempt to harass and ruin Jack because he won’t create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his conscience.”
Phillips has publicly said he did not violate Colorado’s pro-LGBT, non-discrimination law when he refused to design a same-sex wedding cake, since it was the purpose of the cake he opposes on religious grounds, not potential customers Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Other design requests in the past, such as demonic-looking Halloween cakes and bawdy designs for bachelorette parties, have also been turned down, he has said.
“If we want freedom for ourselves,” Waggoner says, “whether we’re atheists, Muslims, Catholics, Jews, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, then we absolutely must protect freedom for others including those with whom we disagree.”
Phillips and the civil rights commission battled through numerous courts, with the Christian business owner continually losing, until his case reached the U.S. Supreme Court. In its 7-2 decision, the justices issued a narrow ruling that concluded Phillips was treated unfairly by the state commission due to open hostility to his religious beliefs.
Almost 10 years after the first complaint, Phillips says he has lost 40 percent of his business and had to lay off half of his employees.
“I still haven’t regained that income,” he says. “Of course, during this current coronavirus, I’ve been hit just as badly as many other small business owners. I hope this will be the end of my legal battles and I can return to my quiet life as a cake artist.”
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.