A Republican lawmaker is calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for harassing Christian baker Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Colorado.
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Phillips was initially penalized by the commission for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, citing his personal religious beliefs.
“[N]owhere is the assault on religious freedom more pervasive then at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission through their selective application of the law, using it to target viewpoints that contradict their own personal beliefs [sic],” Lamborn wrote in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month. “For over six years now, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission has been on a crusade against Jack Phillips because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith.”
“After Phillips defended himself all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won, he thought Colorado’s hostility towards his faith was over,” Lamborn continued. “Unfortunately, he was wrong.”
Lamborn explained that “no one should be bullied or banished from the marketplace simply because their beliefs don’t line up with the government-favored viewpoint.”
“I am asking the Department of Justice to protect the rights of religious Coloradans by ensuring that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission cannot continue its harassment of people of faith in my home state and its attempts to violate their First Amendment freedoms,” he wrote.
In addition to the protracted legal battle that ensued following the commission’s lawsuit against Phillips for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple, the commission has continued to go after the baker. Last month, it filed another suit against him over his refusal to bake a gender transition celebration cake for a local attorney, who ordered it on the same day the Supreme Court agreed to hear Phillips’ case.
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In response, Phillips, with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom, has subsequently filed a lawsuit against both the commission and its head.
“You may recognize Jack Phillips. He’s the Colorado cake artist who was at the center of one of the year’s most-talked-about U.S. Supreme Court decisions,”ADF noted on its website. “Although Jack won an important victory, the State of Colorado didn’t get the message. It is targeting him again!”
“Alliance Defending Freedom is defending Jack again. But this time, we’re not simply playing defense,” the statement continued. “We have filed a lawsuit against the relevant state officials. We have to put an end to this harassment.”