Appeals court rules against Christian baker Jack Phillips

by mcardinal

Lauren C. Moye, FISM News

An appeals court affirmed an earlier court decision on Thursday against Christian baker Jack Phillips, who faces punishment for violating the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) for refusing to make a cake celebrating transgenderism.

A trial court originally ruled against Phillips, finding that his Masterpiece Cakeshop discriminated against Autumn Scardina by refusing to make a pink cake with blue frosting.

Scardina, a biological male and lawyer, asked the cakeshop to make him a birthday cake matching that description. He then said it also represented his celebration of transitioning to a female identity.

Judge Timothy Schutz of the Colorado Court of Appeals authored the decision for the three-judge panel, which affirmed the trial court’s ruling on the case as “not predicated on the perceived ‘offensiveness’ of the message, but rather on the fact that the pink and blue cake expressed no message, whether secular or religious.”

Phillips and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyers plan to appeal the decision.

“Free speech is for everyone. No one should be forced to express a message that violates their core beliefs,” ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner said. Warner argued before the court in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Warner referred to Scardina as an “activist lawyer” continuing a crusade against the Christian baker. 

“This cruelty must stop. One need not agree with Jack’s views to agree that all Americans should be free to say what they believe, even if the government disagrees with those beliefs,” Warner added.

Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, has faced LGTBQ attacks on his business before after he refused to make a same-sex wedding cake. That case went before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

On the same day SCOTUS announced their decision to hear the case, Scardina called the cakeshop with his request to celebrate his gender dysphoria.

When refused, Scardina called a second time to request another custom cake depicting Satan smoking marijuana to “correct the errors of [Phillips’] thinking,” according to ADF.

After this, Scardina filed his lawsuit accusing the cakeshop and Phillips of violating CADA. 

Scardina has actually filed this paperwork twice. The first round ended when Phillips and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission settled, both mutually agreeing the case should not move forward in August 2018.

Despite this, the appellate court and original trial court believe there were no nefarious intentions behind Scardina’s request.

“Returning to the case before us, the trial court found that Scardina called Masterpiece with the bona fide intent to purchase the requested cake. In that sense, the court determined that the transaction was not a ‘set-up’ to initiate litigation,” the ruling reads.

ADF is also representing the case of graphic artist Lorie Smith, 303 Creative v. Elenis, as it goes before SCOTUS.

“Cultural winds may shift, but freedom of speech is foundational to our self-government and to the free and fearless pursuit of truth,” Warner said about both cases.