The same baker who said "no" to making same-sex couple's wedding cake, gets fined for refusing to make a transgender cake.
The Denver Post reports that Denver District Judge A. Bruce Jones ruled, June 15, 2021, that John Phillips violated the state's anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a cake for a transgender woman celebrating her transition. The ruling comes with a $500 fine.
Autumn Scardina requested Phillips make a cake to celebrate her gender transition: blue on the outside and pink on the inside. Phillips refused on grounds that he couldn't do so because of its message. In March, Phillips testified at trial that he did not think someone could change their gender and he would not celebrate '"somebody who thinks that they can."
The judge presiding over the case said that Phillips case was about a refusal to sell a product, not compelled speech, and he wrote that "the anti-discrimination laws are intended to ensure that members of our society who have historically been treated unfairly, who have been deprived even of the every-day right to access businesses to buy products, are no longer treated as 'others.'"
The timing of Scardina's cake order came the same day in 2017 when the US Supreme Court announced that it would hear the appeal of the wedding cake case.
The Lakewood-based baker and owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop made headlines after a lawsuit was filed after he refused to make a same-sex couple's wedding cake, on grounds of his religious beliefs. His case was litigated in the state as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. It was a partial win for both parties, state and federal courts. According to The New York Times article in 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips.
Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Mr. Phillips, said the ruling was a victory for religious liberty.
“Government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society, yet the State of Colorado was openly antagonistic toward Jack’s religious beliefs about marriage,” said Kristen Waggoner, a lawyer with the group. “The court was right to condemn that. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a society like ours.”
Some gay rights groups took a darker view of the decision—Rachel B. Tiven, the chief executive of Lambda Legal. “The court today has offered dangerous encouragement to those who would deny civil rights to L.G.B.T. people. We will fiercely resist the coming effort that will seek to turn this ruling into a broad license to discriminate.”
In a Denver Post 2018 interview with the gay couple at the center of the wedding cake case, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, they said "they would gladly go through the ordeal again and urged others to take up their fight for civil rights. (They also said they have no hard feelings toward Jack Phillips—'This has always been about a policy and not about a person.')"
Most recently, Phillips just published a book about his experience, The Cost of My Faith.
Should Phillips be fined or not? Share your thoughts in the comments.