A Colorado-based Christian baker fights back by filing an appeal on Monday after being forced by the state to violate his faith.
WND reported that Masterpiece Cakeshop baker Jack Phillips was ordered by the state of Colorado to violate his faith by baking a "pink-and-blue" cake that symbolizes transgender lawyer Autumn Scardina's "transgender transition." Phillips is said to be fighting back by filing an appeal through his legal representative Alliance Defending Freedom.
The Washington Times, on the other hand, said that Phillips has been battling with the United States Supreme Court for almost a decade for various cases due to his strong religious belief that makes him refuse cake orders against the teachings of Christianity.
The first case was in 2012 when a gay couple asked Phillips to bake a cake in celebration of their union. The case became an international sensation that landed victory for Phillips who fought for his religious liberty.
Christianity Daily reported in March that Phillips went on trial again against Scardina who filed the lawsuit to "test" his conviction. The court denied Phillips's allegations that there was a "set up" despite evidence in court revealing that Scardina "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."
The Colorado Second Judicial District Court issued in June that Phillips should bake the cake regardless of his religious beliefs. Judge Bruce Jones ordered Phillips to pay Scardina $500 for violating the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act in a 28-page court resolution.
"As set forth above, Defendants violated CADA's prohibition against discrimination in a place of public accommodation. In consideration of all of the facts of this case, the Court orders Defendants to pay Ms. Scardina $500.00 as a penalty for their violations of CADA," Jones said in the resolution.
However, Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Jake Warner pointed out that this is contrary to the Phillips' religious convictions that must not be forced by anyone. Warner said this decision is a matter of "targeting artists like" Phillips done by activists "weaponizing the legal system," which is not a good precedent for others who might be affected in the future.
"No one should be forced to express a message that violates their beliefs and conscience. Activists and government officials are targeting artists like Jack because they can't promote messages on marriage and gender that violate their core beliefs," Warner said in a statement released Tuesday.
"In this case, an activist attorney demanded that Jack Phillips create custom cakes in order to test Jack and to 'correct the errors' of his thinking, and the attorney even threatened to sue Jack again if the case is dismissed for any reason," he stressed.
"This case and others like it represent a disturbing trend: Activists are weaponizing the legal system to ruin those who simply disagree with them. Someone you disagree with might be the one targeted today, but when political winds shift, it could just as easily be you or anyone else tomorrow."
Warner explained that Phillips experience on this kind of harassment for the past years is proof of it. He added that their desire in filing an appeal on the case is to defend Americans' freedom that should be free from "government punishment."
"Jack has been harassed for nearly a decade for living by his faith and making artistic decisions that artists have always made. That's why we have appealed this decision and will continue to defend the freedom of all Americans to peacefully live and work according to their core convictions without fear of government punishment," Warner disclosed.