Colorado baker Jack Phillips won a resounding victory at the Supreme Court earlier this year in a 7-2 decision which upheld his religious freedom. But that hasn’t stopped the so-called Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) from continuing to harass him.
You are probably familiar with the original story: Phillips owns Masterpiece Cakeshop and has served all customers at his bakery without regard to their identity or beliefs. When a same-sex couple asked Phillips to create a custom wedding cake for their ceremony, Phillips respectfully and politely declined because it would go against his deep Christian convictions. The couple filed a complaint with the CCRC, which ordered him to bake the wedding cake and to implement “sensitivity training,” even though same-sex “marriage” was not even recognized in Colorado at that time. After several years of legal battles, the 7-2 Supreme Court majority determined that the CCRC was overtly hostile to Phillips’ religious beliefs. But that hasn’t ended the matter.
On June 26, 2017 — the very day the Supreme Court agreed to take up Phillips’ case — a lawyer identifying as transgender called Masterpiece Cakeshop and demanded a cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside to celebrate the lawyer’s “gender transition.” Phillips’ wife, who answered the phone, declined, citing their Christian beliefs. The lawyer immediately filed a complaint with the CCRC, alleging illegal discrimination.
Then this past June, less than a month after the Supreme Court decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop was handed down, the CCRC declared there was “sufficient evidence” that Phillips had discriminated against the lawyer and ordered him to engage in “compulsory mediation.”
Facing continuing harassment for exercising his First Amendment rights, Phillips and his attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom this week filed a federal lawsuit against the CCRC, seeking an end to the continued discrimination against Phillips even after the Supreme Court decision.
“The state is doubling down on its hostility against my beliefs, even though that’s what the Supreme Court said they couldn’t do,” Phillips and his attorneys said in a statement. “It seems I’m the only person in the state of Colorado who can’t live out my beliefs.”
Attorney Kristen Waggoner, who argued Phillips’ case before the Supreme Court, said that the CCRC’s latest actions are “yet again confirming that it applies its law in an arbitrary and unequal way, which the Supreme Court has already said that it cannot do.”
The timing of the transgender lawyer’s complaint makes clear that this was an intentional targeting of Phillips with continued legal harassment. The radical LGBT movement is attempting to sue him out of existence. Good for Jack Phillips and his attorneys for fighting back on behalf of religious freedom and First Amendment rights.
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