Jack Phillips doesn’t belong in a courtroom, according to his legal defense team at Alliance for Defending Freedom. He should be baking and decorating cakes at his Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo.
For more than eight years, Phillips has been pulled away from his confectionary artistry in order to fight for his civil rights and ability to live according to his Christian faith. He was sued for not baking a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage, because it conflicts with his sincerely held beliefs. The LGBT activist community has since used him as a target and bullied him through the courts.
Through it all, Phillips endured the spotlight of the national media, lost significant business, and had to let several employees go. He’s received hateful phone calls, letters, and even death threats.
“After two wins — including one at the U.S. Supreme Court — you would think it would all be over,” ADL wrote.
But now, Phillips is embroiled in a third lawsuit. A Colorado trial court has entered an order punishing Phillips for living out his faith after he refused to bake a cake celebrating gender transition surgery. The court fined him the maximum amount — $500. The case is now on appeal.
Who is Jack Phillips? He’s a Colorado cake artist who was at the center of one of 2018’s most-talked-about U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Although he won an important victory at the Supreme Court, the State of Colorado didn’t get the message. It targeted him again.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission set its sights on Phillips because of his Christian faith. That was clear when it allowed other Colorado cake artists—but not Phillips—to decline to create custom cakes that expressed messages that the artists considered objectionable.
It was even clearer when some members of the civil rights commission made hostile statements against Phillips. One called his religious-liberty defense “a despicable piece of rhetoric” and compared him to perpetrators of the Holocaust. Phillips was being compared to a Nazi because he would not decorate a cake to celebrate a gay wedding.
The United States Supreme Court rebuked the commission in a 7-2 decision in which it condemned Colorado’s “clear and impermissible hostility toward [Phillip’s] sincere religious beliefs.”
Less than a month after the Supreme Court decision in 2018, Colorado’s government targeted Phillips again.
After Phillips filed a lawsuit against the state to stop that prosecution, in March 2019, the state of Colorado threw in the towel.
Now, Phillips faces his third legal battle. A trans woman, Autumn Scardina, ordered a cake to celebrate her transition from living as a male to living as a female. Scardina is a lawyer and was part of the LGBTQ bullying campaign.
Denver District Judge A. Bruce Jones has rejected Phillips’ argument that making the cake is an act of free speech. The judge said it’s simply a product and that it cannot be sold to some people, but not others. The judge said Phillips’ refusal of service was due to his refusal to recognize Scardina as a woman.
That 2021 ruling that Phillips violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act was on appeal on Wednesday with the Colorado Appeals Court, where Phillips hopes to overturn the ruling.
Scardina says the case is about the dignity of LGBTQ Americans and Coloradans and the rule of law. Phillips say he fights for the rights of all Americans to live according to their consciences “without fear of punishment” by government.
Read more about Jack Phillips at Alliance for Defending Freedom.