Where is Jack Phillips now? Colorado baker who once said NO to gay couple refuses to bake gender transition cake
According to the latest reports, a lawyer in Denver attempted to place her order for the cake on the same day in 2017 that the high court announced it would hear Phillips' appeal in his case regarding the wedding cake
DENVER, COLORADO: In what could be deemed a classic case of history repeating itself, Colorado baker Jack Phillips has found himself at the center of a controversy once again. Phillips, who had found himself at the center of a Supreme Court case after infamously refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012, is now once again being sued.
This time around, he had refused to bake a cake for a transgender customer to celebrate her transition.
A rehash of the past
According to the latest reports, a lawyer in Denver attempted to place her order for the cake on the same day in 2017 that the high court announced it would hear Phillips' appeal in his case regarding the wedding cake. Autumn Scardina also made specific requests for the cake, requesting it to be blue on the outside and pink on the inside, as a way to mark her transition.
On Monday, during a virtual trial being conducted by a state judge in Denver, Scardina referenced that Phillips' reasoning behind refusing to bake the cake for the gay couple was that it involved a religious ceremony and highlighted that the baker had claimed at the time that he would have had no issue with serving a gay couple otherwise.
Scardina then said she placed her order with Phillips’ Masterpiece Cakeshop to see if he really meant what he said about taking orders otherwise. When her lawyer Paula Greisen asked whether the whole situation was a “setup,” she denied it saying "it was more of calling someone’s bluff."
In his opening argument, Sean Gates, the lawyer representing Phillips, said the baker had refused because of the message behind the cake, and not discrimination against Scardina. "The message would be that he agrees that a gender transition is something to be celebrated." He echoed the same assertions that were made during his legal battle over his refusal to make a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins in 2012.
Scardina's lawsuit is reportedly the latest in a series of cases around the country that pit the rights of LGBTQ people against merchants’ religious objections. This is an ongoing issue that remains unsettled by the top court.
Before this lawsuit was filed, Scardina had complained against the baker with the state. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission, at the time, had found probable cause that Phillips had discriminated against her. In response to that, Phillips then filed a federal lawsuit against Colorado, accusing it of waging a "crusade to crush" him.
Who is Jack Phillips and where is he now?
In 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 for Phillips, that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed anti-religious bias when it sanctioned Phillips for refusing to make the same-sex wedding cake. At the same time, the courts 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.
"Jack is being targeted for his religious beliefs," Kristen Waggoner, general counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who defended Phillips in his first case and continues to represent him, reportedly said. "His opponents are weaponizing the law to punish and destroy him because he won’t create expression that violates his Christian faith. They want to make the law an arm of cancel culture."
The Conservative Christian baker had received a lot of support from the public who stood by him and his religious beliefs.
According to the website of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Phillips has been making customized cakes since 1997. The site also claims that the cakeshop was "Best of Weddings Pick in a national magazine for 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2012."