AG Treg Taylor adds name to appeal in Colorado case of Christian cake baker

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Attorney General Treg Taylor of Alaska, along with 21 other Republican attorneys general, has signed onto a legal brief appealing to the Colorado Supreme Court to consider the case of a Christian cake artist who lost a First Amendment lawsuit in a lower court.

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, petitioned the highest court in Colorado to overturn a decision made by the state Court of Appeals.

The Appeals Court ruled that Phillips had violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act in 2012 when he declined to create a blue and pink cake for attorney Autumn Scardina, who requested it to commemorate his transition from male to female during a phone conversation.

Scardina is the same attorney who filed an unsuccessful complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2017 over the same custom cake request the attorney made at that time.

The request was for a custom-designed cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside, to reflect and celebrate a gender transition.

Masterpiece Cakeshop turned away that request because the customer specifically requested that the cake express messages and celebrate an event in conflict with Phillips’ sacredly held religious beliefs. The decision was not because of the person who requested it, as Phillips would not create a cake expressing the requested message no matter who asked for it.

The amicus brief asks the Colorado Supreme Court to review Phillips’ petition and declare that he cannot be compelled to design a custom cake that contradicts his religious beliefs.

The 14-page brief asserts that Phillips’ actions constitute “expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment.” It argues that the requested gender-transition cake, like any other cake, would require Phillips to communicate a clear message about sexual activity with which he fundamentally disagrees. The brief calls upon the court to uphold Phillips’ right to abstain from expressing such messages.

The brief contends that a gender-transition themed cake qualifies as symbolic speech and claims that the lower courts have misapplied the doctrines of the First Amendment. It says a ruling in favor of Phillips would not endorse discrimination.

Scardina and the lower courts perceive Phillips’ refusal to bake a gender-transition cake as an attack on LGBT equality. The attorneys say, however, that a ruling in favor of Phillips would not undermine the established principle that business owners cannot deny “protected persons” equal access to goods and services.

Rather, it would simply affirm that Colorado’s anti-discrimination law cannot be enforced in exceptional cases where it would require compelled speech.

The brief also highlights that Phillips willingly serves LGBT customers by selling them pre-made cakes for any occasion and creating custom cakes that do not express messages contrary to his religious beliefs.

Attorney General Taylor is joined by attorneys general from the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia in the appeal.

Americans For Prosperity Foundation has also filed a brief: “Must reasonable and sincere people acting in good faith—who simply adhere to a traditional, Biblical view of the world—be compelled to engage in artistic speech that contravenes their deeply held beliefs? The answer must be no,” AFP’s brief declares.

27 COMMENTS

  1. The Supreme Court already said no and slapped the court system once. Twice should be a spanking.

  2. Hey(!!!) … Spring is here with loads of melting snow. I now have ample ingredient materials, totally organic, gluten free, free range, hormone free, and naturally – locally Alaskan sourced within my yard in south Anchorage (**if I run out of these premium ingredients I also have a sourcing contract with neighbors within my neighborhood), to make your unique – exquisite LBGTQ+ & Transgender Cakes.

  3. All people are God’s people and discrimination by in name only christians using the American dollar as a business transaction is economic hate.
    How would the Phillips like it if they were denied business because they are French? Over 2,000 different religions in the world, none have president over the other. Deeply held religious beliefs are a tool for hate 😉
    One nation under God is whatever people imagine that God or Gods to be without violating U.S. Constitution and discriminating;-)
    Summarize, If my religion says paying taxes is wrong, I would still have to pay taxes or get locked up.

    • All over the place and still no cogent point. Must be an Alaska public school grad.

      Two things

      Neither of us knows how Phillips might feel about French being denied anything. If it worries you do, ask him. Don’t engage in inane misdirection to attempt to make a point that fails anyway.

      Jesus was very clear. Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

      Probably better you stay on the porch. Not ready to run with the big dogs here.

      • You don’t know Caesar from Confucious or liberal from conservative. Find yourself a church;-)

    • 3rd Gen says: “All people are God’s people and discrimination by in name only christians using the American dollar as a business transaction is economic hate.”

      Given your definition above, lotta economic hate going on these days given all the stuff lefties gleefully discriminate against these days. There is a parable about planks and specks that might be worth your while to review (Matthew 7:3-5). Interesting you fall all over yourself accusing this Christian of doing what the political left has turned into an industrial complex (or a way of life) for decades. I suppose if Your Side is doing the dirty deed, all is well. Anyone else? Not so much. Cheers –

      • Masked and agimarc; I believe Jesus would think of me as the lead Dog.
        I was surprised that you two didn’t come out with more insulting hate, both are coming along well though, not quite in line with the 10 commandments perhaps, but coming along 😉
        Picked up 6-7 bags of garbage along Chester creek trail, inspired several homeless giving them some orange bags, fished out 5 shopping carts outa swamp and the creek with some help from a passer by, rope, hook and come-along. Another said I was doing Gods work or words to that effect 😉 Join the fun, let’s clean up Gods Green Earth.

    • Yes, and Scardinia is using his religion for hate. You can’t force me to create a web page I can’t get creative about. Do you think you could feel creative if someone wanted you to create art that you detest?

      In addition, religions in the US aren’t allowed to break laws, i.e., extreme Islamic religions aren’t allowed to do honor killings here. So your tax comment is irrelevant.

    • OK, let’s take this to your logical conclusion Loren. let’s say I come into your professional photo shop and tell you I want photos of me f–king someone in the a–. and because you cannot discriminate you have to take the job. You have no choice.

      Reminds me of that case in Canada where a transgender man demanded that an aesthetician wax his balls. In your world, the aesthetician would be forced to take the job. Yay you. That one failed even in Canada.

      • You are incorrect: There are legal statutes that protect the business world and public from indecent exposure.

    • Loren
      That’s right and it works both ways. How about I use lawyers to make you do something you would never do.

  4. Personally, I would be fine with that so long as it is clearly advertised that this store is a bible-based business. I do expect the bible-based store to pay the taxes and fees associated with business ownership.

    This better not be an attempt to eventually not pay taxes.

    • And set himself up even further for harassment from bigots like you?

      Besides, his faith is well known. Worse for people like you, he doesn’t apologize or back down. That’s part of why he’s a target of ongoing harassment by petty activists.

    • The LGBTQWTF world has intentionally targeted Phelps since the first complaint was filed in 2012. There shouldn’t be anyone in Colorado that doesn’t know what is going on. Those who claim not to know are either idiots or liars. This is lawfare conducted against a Christian. Think compelled speech and you’ll be close. Cheers –

  5. I agree Phillips is being targeted for ongoing harassment. But I’m not seeing why Alaska is getting involved in a Colorado issue.

  6. Maybe we need to practice what the Left does and has done. Find an atheist/agnostic business and have them provide a service/product contrary to their beliefs. Kinda like a bead maker to make me a rosary; a bakery to make me rolls in the shape of a cross; a printer to make me signs proclaiming Christ as the savior; a newspaper publisher (ADN) publishing an ad decrying global warming/climate change. We need to go on the offense to turn this around.

  7. Where do you draw the line on the perception of decent behavior? Does a business owner have a choice on the matter? We all accept the society norms but at what point can you draw the line without being sued? Can you accept someone’s choice to be different without being forced to participate? Are thought police the future? This new idea of equality should work both ways. You don’t go into a business and demand services that they don’t wish to provide. Go elsewhere. Attack them on your social media if that makes you feel better. Would you bring your emotional support animal into a restaurant? Would you want to eat there if the kitchen staff had their animals in the kitchen? There’s got to be limits on your need to be special, like when it interferes with other’s rights to choose what is comfortable and acceptable to them. If you wish to wear dirty underwear, it affects nobody until you wear it as an outer garment in public.

  8. Does the right to refuse service to anyone ring a bell??? My God… I applaud this baker for sticking to his morals and beliefs! His business, his right to say no!!!

    • Well that’s what I thought too. apparently you can’t run your own business the way you want anymore.

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