For Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, the grueling saga continues.
In June, Phillips won a major victory at the U.S. Supreme Court after he refused in 2012 to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Now, through his legal counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian baker is going to bat against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission yet again.
ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner said in a statement that the state of Colorado is “ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs.”
“Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him — something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do,” she said, according to The Daily Caller.
— Kristen Waggoner (@adfkristen) August 15, 2018
This latest problem first reared its head on the same day the high court agreed to review Phillips’ original case.
A transgender attorney named Autumn Scardina contacted Phillips’ bakery and asked for a custom birthday cake. The cake was to feature a blue exterior and a pink interior, intended to celebrate Scardina’s transgenderism.
As expected, Phillips declined to make the overtly symbolic dessert, given his biblical view of human sexuality and identity, and instead offered to sell any of his pre-made cake designs to Scardina, who was not too happy with the Christian business owner’s offering.
Scardina filed a legal complaint with the state’s civil rights commission, claiming to have been discriminated against on the basis of gender identity. As a result, the commission issued a “probable cause determination,” deciding there was enough evidence to suggest Phillips discriminated against the transgender lawyer.
But Phillips isn’t backing down.
Through the ADF, he immediately filed a lawsuit against the civil rights commission, accusing the body of — once again — violating his right to free speech and his religious liberty.
The lawsuit reads, in part:
After Phillips defended himself all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won, he thought Colorado’s hostility toward his faith was over. He was wrong. Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor. This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips.
Phillips’ attorneys went on to say their client is facing attacks from the state because the panel of officials “despise what he believes and how he practices his faith.”
The lawsuit also claims Phillips and his family lost 40 percent of their income when the commission initially ruled he either had to bake the cake that violated his deeply held religious beliefs or eliminate the portion of his business that catered to weddings.
The now-famous baker is seeking restitution for legal fees and $100,000 in “punitive damages” from the director of the civil rights commission.
“It is now clear that Colorado will not rest until Phillips either closes Masterpiece Cakeshop or agrees to violate his religious beliefs,” the filing states. “The state’s continuing efforts to target Phillips do not just violate the Constitution; they cross the line into bad faith. This Court should put a stop to Colorado’s unconstitutional bullying.”