The Christian baker in Denver, Colorado, who won a high-profile religious liberty case earlier this year is back in court after refusing to bake a cake for a transgender person.
According to Life Site News, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips is now going toe-to-toe with LGBTQ leaders who are trying to force him to bake cake for a person who is transitioning from one gender to another.
Over the summer, U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that Colorado officials had discriminated against Phillips’ religious beliefs when they tried to force him to bake a cake for a same-sex “wedding.”
On June 26, following his major court victory, Autumn Scardina filed a complaint against Phillips for refusing to bake a cake that would be pink on the inside and blue on the outside.
Scardina was trying to celebrate his “transition” from male to female.
A few days later, Colorado Civil Rights Division director Aubrey Elenis wrote a letter claimed Phillips had unlawfully denied Scardina “equal enjoyment of a place of public accommodation.”
Alliance Defending Freedom, the religious organization that represented Phillips in his original case before the U.S. Supreme Court, responded by filing a federal lawsuit against outgoing Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper and the state civil rights commission.
Phillips’ lawsuit argues that the state is ignoring the Supreme Court’s ruling and infringing on his religious liberties.
“Jack had no choice but to file a federal lawsuit to defend himself from this targeting,” ADF’s Maureen Collins wrote. “He should not have to fear government punishment for his faith when he opens his cake shop for business every day. But it appears that Colorado will not stop harassing him until he closes down or agrees to violate his faith.”
Jim Campbell, an ADF attorney representing Phillips, argued before the District Court on Tuesday that the state commissioners, all of whom were appointed by Hickenlooper, are attacking Phillips faith.
“One current commissioner has publicly referred to Jack as a ‘hater’ on Twitter, one of several indications of the commission’s ongoing bias against Jack and his beliefs,” Campbell said prior to the hearing.
“We’re asking the federal court to immediately stop Colorado’s efforts to punish Jack in order to shield him from a biased agency and ensure that he is not forced to express messages that violate his faith,” he added.
Colorado Christian University policy analyst Jeff Hunt said the state, which tends to lean toward Democrats, is targeting Christians like Phillips.
“At this point, they’re just targeting Christians. This is outright Christian persecution. Jack Phillips is very much a canary in the coal mine with regard to the very important legal issues we’re going to be facing,” Hunt said.