It’s really been six whole years since Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, denied same-sex couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig’s request for a wedding cake based on “religious beliefs.” How original.
Yet here we are in 2018, and that same Colorado cake man is still refusing to bake custom cakes for LGBT customers, including openly transgender Autumn Scardina this past June.
When the debacle first began back in 2012, Mullins and Craig filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission on the grounds that Phillips was discriminating against them based on sexual orientation. Colorado sided with Mullins and Craig, who won their case before the state commission and in the state courts.
The case then went to the U.S. Supreme Court and ruled in favor of Phillips on June 4, 2018 based on the argument that the CCRC had been hostile toward religion when siding with Mullins and Craig. In a shocking turn of events, the Supreme Court came to no conclusion about whether or not a business owner has the right to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
But the battle didn’t end with Mullins and Craig, and it didn’t even end with Phillips when Scardina called Masterpiece Cakeshop in June of 2017 to order a blue, pink, and white cake—the colors of the transgender flag.
As it turns out, homophobes aren’t all that aware of what LGBT flags look like past the trusty rainbow one, as the employee Scardina spoke to initially took no issue with the cake until she learned of its occasion.
“The woman on the phone did not object to my request for a birthday cake until I told her I was celebrating my transition,” she said. “I was stunned.”
Scardina, a Denver attorney, also filed a complaint with the CCRC, which again determined that Phillips’ refusal to bake her cake was discrimination based on gender identity. To be fair, Phillips has turned down requests for many different types of cakes as well. He has reportedly been brave enough to refuse to bake Halloween cakes in spite of the controversial rhetoric surrounding the holiday.
Despite winning the Supreme Court ruling in June, Phillips is apparently pretty irked by the state of Colorado’s personal vendetta against him, and he is now seeking $100,000 from the director of the CCRC, Aubrey Elenis, in punitive damages for his troubles. He also sued the governor of Colorado, claiming that the state discriminated against him for refusing to bake Scardina’s cake.
“Jack shouldn’t have to fear government hostility when he opens his shop for business each day,” Phillips’ attorneys stated. “We’re asking the court to put a stop to that.”
US District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel has decided to move forward with the case, stating that he is “inclined to deny the motion to dismiss” despite state officials’ pleas.
“At this point, he’s just a guy who is trying to get back to life. The problem is the state of Colorado won’t let him,” said Jim Campbell, an attorney for the conservative Christian organization Alliance Defending Freedom.
It really is a shame that it’s so hard to be openly homophobic and maintain a thriving business these days. Must be tough to be denied a basic civil right like marriage or a wedding cake.