The National Pulse

Colorado Baker Secures Another Big Win for Religious Liberty

In a win for religious liberty, the state of Colorado has decided to drop its case against Christian baker Jack Phillips after years of legal hostility.

Phillips is the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop and was the leading figure in last summer’s 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Colorado’s attempt to force him to create a cake for a same-sex wedding. The ruling was a win for both Phillips and religious liberty. Yet, less than a month later, another complaint was filed against him for his refusal to bake a cake that celebrated a transgender transition.

The state of Colorado picked up this complaint and once again charged that Phillips was in violation of anti-discrimination laws. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) quickly joined his fight, filing a federal suit against outgoing Governor John Hickenlooper (D) and the state’s civil rights commission for religious persecution and refusal to acknowledge the Supreme Court ruling.

Last week ended the long legal battle as the state and Phillips came to an agreement to both dismiss their cases. “After careful consideration of the facts, both sides agreed it was not in anyone’s best interest to move forward with these cases,” stated Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.

“We’re pleased that the state will be dismissing its case against Jack,” commented Kristen Waggoner, an ADF senior vice president. “While it finally appears to be getting the message that its anti-religious hostility has no place in our country, the state’s decision to target Jack has cost him more than six and a half years of his life, forcing him to spend that time tied up in legal proceedings.”

Phillips’ long struggle began back in 2012 when he turned down a request to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. He explained that his religious convictions would not allow him to fulfill the request, but recommended another baker in the area.

The couple filed a discrimination complaint with Colorado’s Civil Rights Division, which deemed Phillips guilty of violating the state’s anti-discrimination laws. Phillips’ appeal started the long legal journey that was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court.

“Today is a win for freedom,” Phillips declared in a statement. “I’m very grateful and looking forward to serving my customers as I always have: with love and respect.”

Photo credit: Screenshot via YouTube

Kelvey Vander Hart

Kelvey Vander Hart is passionate about Jesus, conservatism, fitness, and fantastic coffee; she is also the Associate Editor at Caffeinated Thoughts. She can be followed on Twitter @kovanderhart.

  • The Supreme Court declined on Monday to take up a religious liberty case for next term concerning a woman, Phyllis Young, in Hawaii who declined to rent a room in her bed & breakfast to a lesbian couple out of objections to same-sex marriage.

    The court’s action leaves in place a lower court opinion that went against Young.
    Young, who runs Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Hawaii, welcomes guests to rent rooms so long as they are not same-sex couples.

    Clearly the Supreme Court has not decided on the issue of whether bigots can deny services to gay people in public accommodations.

    Kelvey Old Gal doesn’t know what she is writing about!

  • For a Christian, this baker sure hates a lot of people. I don’t think Jesus would approve. It is a stretch to say he has the right to not serve people he despises in a public accommodation. Maybe yes, maybe no. After all one needs to abide by the law in this country. My biggest problem is with him calling his bigotry a part of Christianity. I object. Speak for yourself.

  • The “big win” is for pure bigotry. I am a church-going Christian who is morally repelled by this man.

  • Kelvey is quite dishonest…or not very smart. The Supreme Court absolutely did not decide the issue of this case, but rather dismissed it on technical grounds. It obnoxious enough that she believe treat gay people with contempt is her religious liberty, I guess Kelvey thinks it is her religious right to spread lies.

    • In a 7-2 decision, the Court ruled on narrow grounds that the Commission did not employ religious neutrality, violating Masterpiece owner Jack Phillips’ rights to free exercise, and reversed the Commission’s decision. The Court did not rule on the broader intersection of anti-discrimination laws, free exercise of religion, and freedom of speech, due to the complications of the Commission’s lack of religious neutrality.

      So yes, Kelvey’s nose is growing! The court did not decide on the specific issues in this case. But why should we expect a bigot like Kelvey to tell the truth.

  • Now right wing religionist bakers can shun interracial couples, just as they think the Bible demands! Religious Liberty in action!

    • Yes, Kelvey’s scheme of religious liberty would allow this heinous monster baker to shun blacks, Jews, Muslims, decent Christians–whoever he hates.