Baker who refused to serve gay couple now being sued for refusing to bake gender transition cake
Just bake the cakes, fella.
Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who found himself at the centre of a Supreme Court case after refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012 is once again being sued.
This time, he has refused to bake a cake for a transgender customer to celebrate her transition.
Autumn Scardina, a lawyer in Denver, attempted to place the order on the same day in 2017 the high court announced it would hear Phillips' appeal in his case regarding the wedding cake, and requested that it be blue on the outside and pink on the inside to mark her transition.
The issue of balancing the rights of LGBTQ people against the religious beliefs of others remains unsettled in the United States' top court, for some reason.
In a virtual hearing on Monday, Scardina referenced that Phillips' reasoning behind refusing to bake the cake for the gay couple was that it involved a religious ceremony, highlighting that Phillips claimed he would otherwise have had no issue with serving a gay couple.
Scardina then said she placed her order with Phillips' bakery to see if he meant what he said.
She denied that it was a "set-up", saying "It was more of calling someone’s bluff."
In his opening argument, Sean Gates, the lawyer representing Phillips, said "The message would be that he agrees that a gender transition is something to be celebrated." He extended on this point by saying he would also refuse to make cakes celebrating other messages he disagreed with, such as ones to do with Haloween.
Before this lawsuit was filed, Colorado Civil Rights Commission found probable cause that Phillips had discriminated against Scardina. Phillips then filed a lawsuit against them, claiming they had waged a "crusade to crush" him.
In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed anti-religious bias when it sanctioned Phillips for refusing to make the same-sex wedding cake, but did not rule on the larger issue of whether businesses should be able to refuse service to customers on the basis of their religious beliefs.