A Colorado judge has decided to throw out one of two charges against Christian baker Jack Phillips, who refused to create a transgender themed cake for trans woman, Attorney Autumn Scardina.
Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips can now breathe a sigh of relief after a Colorado judge decided to drop one of the two charges filed against him by a transgender woman, an attorney named Autumn Scardina.
Back in June 2019, biologically male-born Scardina asked Phillips to make a cake that celebrated his "gender transition" from male to female.
The cakeshop owner had already been through a legal battle after being sued by David Mullins and Charlie Craig, a gay couple who asked him to bake a cake for their wedding reception. The gay couple filed discrimination charges against the Christian baker and won before a a civil rights commission and in the courts, the New York Times reported.
Phillips now faces as similar scenario after this new trans case with Scardina, a transgender attorney from Scardina Law who operates the law firm with his brother. The two claim to "know how hard it is to go through changes in life and how important it is to have trusted advocates guide you through your legal challenges."
Scardina filed a lawsuit against the Christian baker in 2019, when she claimed that Phillips violated two state laws, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act and the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, when he declined to make the transgender themed cake for him. Now, a Colorado judge has dropped one of the two charges filed against the Christian baker.
According to the Christian Post, a new ruling was released on Thursday in which Denver District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones granted the Christian baker's motion to drop the charge of violating the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, which alleges that Phillips showed "an unfair or deceptive trade practice."
Colorado Judge Jones wrote in the ruling that the Christian baker "cannot show an unfair or deceptive trade practice because the most salient materials [Scardina] allegedly relied on are not advertisements."
In addition, the Colorado judge ruled that Scardina "failed to establish an actionable unfair or deceptive trade practice. Accordingly, summary judgment enters in [Phillips'] favor on [Scardina's] CCPA claim."
While this is good news for the Christian baker, Phillips will still have to face the second charge that accuses him of allegdly violating the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. According to the Colorado judge, Scardina did not have to establish that her identity as a transgender woman was the "'sole' cause of the denial of services."
Colorado Judge Jones said that the "analysis" of the case would have been different "if the cake design had been more intricate, artistically involved, or overtly stated a message." He wrote in the ruling that "the Court cannot conclude, based on the current record, that the act of making a pink cake with blue frosting, at [Scardina's] request, would convey a celebratory message about gender transitions likely to be understood by reasonable observers."
Alliance Defending Freedom General Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who represents the Christian baker in the case, shared that this is Phillips' "first step toward final justice."