Jack Phillips: Masterpiece Cakeshop Baker Sued Once Again over Refusal to Make Gender Transition Cake


Baker Jack Phillips decorates a cake in his Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., September 21, 2017. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

A Colorado baker who won a case before the Supreme Court in 2018 over his refusal to make a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple is facing a new lawsuit after declining to make a birthday cake that celebrated a transgender woman’s transition.

Autumn Scardina tried to order a cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside in honor of her gender transition from Masterpiece Cakeshop on the same day in 2017 that the Supreme Court announced it would hear baker Jack Phillips’ appeal in the wedding cake case.

The high court later ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed anti-religious bias in sanctioning Phillips for his refusal to make the same-sex wedding cake, though the justices did not rule on whether businesses can refuse services to gays or lesbians over religious objections.

Scardina said during a virtual trial on Monday that she attempted to order the birthday cake as a test to see whether Phillips would make good on his assertions that he would sell any other type of product, but opposed making a gay couple’s wedding cake because, as a Christian, he was opposed to the religious ceremony involved, according to CBS Denver.

Her lawyer Paula Greisen claimed the call was not a “setup” but rather “more of calling someone’s bluff.”

Phillips’ lawyer, Sean Gates, said the baker could not create the cake because he did not agree with the message it would send: that gender transition is something to be celebrated.

He argued that it was not discrimination against Scardina and later added that Phillips had also declined to make cakes with other messages he disagreed with, such as Halloween products.

The lawsuit comes after Scardina, a lawyer, filed a complaint against the baker with the state. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission found probable cause that Phillips had discriminated against her.

Phillips later filed a lawsuit against the state, claiming that it had launched a “crusade to crush” him by pursuing the complaint.  Lawyers for both parties agreed to drop both cases in March 2019, under a settlement that allowed Scardina to pursue her own lawsuit.

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