3rd LGBT attack on Christian baker goes to court

By Bob Unruh

Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, cited conflicting religious beliefs when he declined in July 2012 to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding reception (Photo: Twitter/Alliance Defends)
Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, cited conflicting religious beliefs when he declined in July 2012 to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding reception (Photo: Twitter/Alliance Defends)

Colorado baker Jack Phillips already has defeated two attempts by his state to force him to endorse same-sex marriage in violation of his Christian beliefs.

The first attempt was halted by the Supreme Court, which scolded the state for its “hostility” to his faith. The second ended when the state backed off.

Now, Phillips has been hit with a lawsuit claiming discrimination for rejecting a request that he make a cake celebrating transgenderism, and his defense team with the
Alliance Defending Freedom has moved to dismiss the case in state court.

See Phillips and ADF lawyer Jeremy Tedesco, explain:

In 30 pages of legal argument, ADF argued the person filing the lawsuit, attorney Autumn Scardina, lacks standing, didn’t go to the right court and lost the right to sue for failing to appeal another ruling.

ADF told the court that Phillips “wants to peacefully live out his faith as a cake artist by serving all people while declining to express messages that violate his beliefs.”

“After losing in court, the state was content to leave Phillips alone to do just that,” ADF said. “But Scardina won’t allow it. Phillips requests that the court dismiss the complaint so that he can return to the life he had before the state and Scardina targeted him and his faith.”

Scardina and others who have sued bakers, venue owners, photographers and the like, are demanding that “LGBT rights,” based on the Supreme Court’s creation of “same-sex marriage,” trump all constitutional protections for the practice of religious faith.

The issue is far from settled, with many other cases possibly en route to Supreme Court review.

ADF noted Scardina is the attorney who prompted Colorado’s second case against Phillips.

Colorado closed the case after Phillip sued based on the Supreme Court’s judgment that Colorado showed “hostility” toward his Christian faith. The lawsuit eventually was resolved, too.

But Scardina, unwilling to accept the state’s decision and apparently unwilling to appeal through the state’s process, filed a separate claim against Phillips seeking $100,000 in damages and legal fees.

Scardina had demanded a blue and pink cake to represent his “sex change.”

ADF said, “The same attorney has also asked Phillips to create a custom cake depicting satanic themes and images.”

That demand also was declined.

“It’s time to move on and leave Jack alone,” said ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner, who argued on behalf of Phillips before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“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,” she said.

“Jack’s victory at the Supreme Court was great news for everyone. Tolerance for good-faith differences of opinion is essential. It’s the only way for diverse people with differing views to peacefully coexist. This attorney’s relentless pursuit of Jack is an obvious attempt to punish him for his views, banish him from the public square, and bankrupt him and his shop.”

The filing contends the case doesn’t satisfy the conditions required for filing a discrimination complaint. Scardina chose the wrong court in which to file, the allegations are not properly submitted and he does not allege sufficient or specific facts to support a claim, ADF argues.

Then there’s the fact that “the federal and state constitutions bar discrimination against Phillips because of his religious exercise.”

The original complaint against Phillips was brought by Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who demanded a cake for their same-sex wedding.

A key fact in that Supreme Court case was that another consumer had contacted three bakeries run by homosexuals and asked for cakes decorated with condemnations of homosexuality. They all refused, and the state Civil Rights Commission said they were within their rights to refuse to produce a message with which they disagreed.

The state, however, expressed hostility to Christianity by refusing Phillips the same right.

It was Diann Rice, then a member of the state commission, who stated, regarding the claims against Phillips: “I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing or the last meeting. Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust, whether it be – I mean, we – we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to – to use their religion to hurt others.”

The Supreme Court, in a resounding 7-2 ruling, eventually scolded the state for its “hostility.”

Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh expressed disgust when Scardina’s newest claim was filed.

“I remember this case like it was yesterday. … They decided that the bake-shop owner had been really unfairly treated by a state civil-rights agency,” he explained.

“The latest lawsuit against Jack Phillips is – I’m not making this up, now. The latest lawsuit against Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, is filed by a guy who harassed the bakery for months, requesting things like a cake with a picture of Satan performing fellatio. The guy walks in, requested that Jack Phillips bake a cake with a picture of Satan performing fellatio. Of course, Jack Phillips said ‘no.’

“This discrimination suit’s utterly baseless,” he said. “Any person with two functioning brain cells can see.”

WND reported Phillips had significant support on Twitter.

Pointing out Colorado’s new prosecution, she added, “Maybe he couldn’t make a cake that turned into a pie.”

“Funny how these people keep coming to Masterpiece Cakeshop knowing the owner is a Christian who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding,” said a post on the Twitter news-aggregating site Twitchy. “There are other bakers, you know.”

“It’s almost like these people are targeting him for his religious beliefs or something,” added Twitter user Ironic Glasses. “But that can’t be right, because I’ve been assured for years that LGBQ is all about live and let live.”

Phillips’ position from the outset has been that he will sell a cake to anyone, but he cannot be forced to create messages with which he disagrees. Previous court rulings have affirmed protection from “compelled speech.”

At the time of the second case, James Dobson, the noted Christian psychologist and founder of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, charged the state of Colorado was running a “biased” Civil Rights Commission that exhibits hostility to “people of faith.”

And he told lawmakers to fix it.

“We call upon the Colorado legislature to provide unbiased, fair, constitutional due process for all Coloradoans, including people of faith, and to prevent future hostility by this biased government agency.”

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