Phillips, above, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, this week filed a lawsuit against Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission, alleging that it was on a ‘crusade to crush’ him.
The lawsuit, according to this report, centres on an incident in which Phillips refused to make a cake for Autumn Scardina, a Denver attorney, who wanted it to celebrate her transition from male to female.
The baker, who was involved in a widely-publicised protracted legal battle over his refusal to make a cake for a gay couple, says in his lawsuit:
The status of being male or female … is given by God, is biologically determined, is not determined by perceptions or feelings, and cannot be chosen or changed,
The Civil Rights Commission ruled on June 28 that Scardina was discriminated against because of her transgender status. It ordered both parties to seek a mediated solution.
He alleges that the ruling violates his First Amendment right to practice his faith and the 14th Amendment right to equal protection.
The lawsuit says:
For over six years now, Colorado has been on a crusade to crush Plaintiff Jack Phillips … because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith. This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips.
Phillips’ lawyers also suggested that Scardina may have targeted Phillips several times after he refused her original request. The lawsuit said he received several anonymous requests to make cakes depicting Satan and Satanic symbols and that he believed she made the requests.
The lawsuit refers also to a website for Scardina’s practice, Scardina Law. The site states, in part:
We take great pride in taking on employers who discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and serving them their just desserts.
The lawsuit said that Phillips has been harassed, received death threats, and that his small shop was vandalised while the wedding cake case wound its way through the judicial system.
Phillips’ suit names as defendants members of the Colorado Civil Rights Division, including division director Aubrey Elenis; Republican state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman; and Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper. It seeks a reversal of the commission ruling and at least $100,000 in punitive damages from Elenis.
Hickenlooper told reporters he learned about the lawsuit yesterday (Wednesday) and that the state had no vendetta against Phillips.
Hat tip Gaurav Tyagi