Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips—the Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple and took his case all the way to the Supreme Court—has filed yet another lawsuit claiming religious discrimination, this time in response to a ruling that he discriminated against a transgender woman when he declined to make a cake celebrating her gender transition.
Phillips filed the federal lawsuit on Tuesday with the support of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization which funded his previous case. This new lawsuit stems from a cake request made in June 2017 by the attorney Autumn Scardina. As the Washington Post reports, when placing her order, Scardina told the bakery it was not only a birthday cake—it was also to mark her gender transition. According to NPR, after a bakery employee told her that “they do not make cakes celebrating gender changes,” Scardina filed her complaint with Colorado’s Division of Civil Rights, writing that she believes she was discriminated against on the basis of her gender identity.
As Phillips told Colorado Public Radio, “That’s a cake I can’t create for anybody,” adding, “I know the Bible says that God created male and female and that we don’t get to choose that, and we don’t get to change that. And I don’t feel like the government has a right to compel me to participate in creating a cake that promotes that message.”
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission (rightly) disagreed, finding in June of this year that Phillips had violated Scardina’s rights and “denied her equal enjoyment of a place of public accommodation.” That decision came two weeks after the Supreme Court narrowly ruled in favor of Phillips over his previous refusal to make a wedding cake for a gay couple; it declined to rule broadly on whether one’s religious beliefs are a valid reason to deny services.
Phillips, who claims that he doesn’t discriminate against anybody, believes that he is being targeted and that “the government is intent on destroying him.” Scardina declined to comment to the Associated Press, but I applaud her work to make Phillip’s life as miserable as possible.