‘The state’s continuing efforts to target Phillips do not just violate the Constitution; they cross the line into bad faith…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Two months since the Supreme Court upheld Masterpiece Cakeshop’s religious liberty as law of the land, Colorado officials continue to harass Christian cakemaker Jack Phillips, his attorneys say.
On Tuesday, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit against Colorado’s governor, attorney general and members of its Civil Rights Commission, saying that a new anti-discrimination complaint filed against him once again violated his rights.
The new suit, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Elenis, says that on the same day that the Supreme Court agreed to take up the first Masterpiece case, pertaining to a gay wedding, Denver lawyer Autumn Scardina approached Jack’s wife, Debi Phillips, requesting that she make a cake pink on the inside and blue on the outside, symbolizing a gender transition.
Despite the Supreme Court ruling, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission found the cakeshop in violation again when they refused to make the transgender cake.
The new lawsuit also states that Masterpiece has received other specious cake requests since their case came to prominence, including ones celebrating Satan, depicting sexually explicit material and promoting marijuana use.
Many, Jack Phillips believes, come from the same lawyer.
“It is now clear that Colorado will not rest until Phillips either closes Masterpiece Cakeshop or agrees to violate his religious beliefs,” it says. “The state’s continuing efforts to target Phillips do not just violate the Constitution; they cross the line into bad faith.”
The original Masterpiece decision held that Colorado officials acted with “clear and impermissible hostility” in targeting and harassing Phillips despite having allowed similar businesses to exercise their religious convictions.
“The arbitrary basis on which the state is applying its law makes clear that its officials are targeting Jack,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell in a press release.
In issuing the case-specific decision against Colorado, the court avoided a broader ruling as to whether a business can, in principle, decline to serve customers based on protected factors like sexual orientation that may conflict with religious views.