Christian baker Jack Philips is once again on trial in court for declining to bake a cake that marks one's transition from male to female.
Colorado baker and cakeshop owner Jack Phillips is once again fighting for his freedom to uphold his religious beliefs. Just three years go, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips, who declined to bake a cake for two gay men who wanted to celebrate their union, citing that this did not align with the baker's religious beliefs. On Monday, Phillips found himself in a similar court battle, this time for a cake that celebrated a lawyer's transition from male to female.
The Daily Wire reported that back in 2018, the Supreme Court sided with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission which found evidence of anti-religious bias for targeting the Masterpiece Cakeshop owner for refusing the create a same-sex wedding cake. However, the court did not rule whether a business such like the bakeshop has a right to claim religious objections that allowed them to refuse services to same-sex couples.
However, on June 28, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear Phillip's case against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which was about the baker turning down a request to make a wedding cake for a gay couple back in 2012. The state later targeted the baker and prohibited him from designing custom wedding cakes, which represented up to 40% of Phillips' business.
It was on that same day when the Masterpiece Cakeshop owner's wife, Debi got a call from Denver transgender attorney Autumn Scardina, who requested for a cake that celebrated Scardina's "gender transition." This sparked another case, which Phillips fired back with a countersuit that accused the state of Colorado of violating his First Amendment rights and 14th Amendment right of equal protection.
The virtual trial was held on Monday, during which the transgender attorney said that he did not come to Phillips to set him up, but rather it was "more of calling someone's bluff." According to The Federalist, Scardina had also emailed Phillips several times calling him a "bigot and "hypocrite" while mocking his religious beliefs back in 2012. Evidence presented in court revealed that Scardina had in fact "offered to be a plaintiff in a discriminatory case against the cakeshop in the gay couple's absence if they chose not to move forward with litigation."
Scardina had also in another instance asked the Masterpiece Cakeshop owner if he could bake a cake that showed "a picture of Satan smoking a joint" just to test if Scardina would be treated just like any other customer who would walk into the store.
Nonetheless Phillips is not threatened by Scardina's blatant bullying and stands by his faith as a devout Christian. The Masterpiece Cakeshop's owner's lawyer Sean Gates reiterated that his client cannot make cakes with messages he personally opposed. Gates told Courthouse News, "Jack Phillips sees himself as an artist, and the cake as an expression of his soul. [His] cakes convey a message."
"Jack Phillips is a Christian and his religion affects what he can create," Gates argued. "Jack Phillips will make cakes for all people, but he cannot make cakes for all messages."