A Colorado baker named Jack Phillips lost a lawsuit last week that was filed against him by a transgender activist.
On June 26, 2017, Autumn Scardina allegedly called Phillips’ bakery and requested a pink cake with blue frosting, but her request was denied when Scardina explained that the cake was for her gender transition. Scardina is also an attorney. When Scardina was denied, she filed a lawsuit through the state court. She won the lawsuit, and Phillips had to pay a $500 fine. Jack is now represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which defines itself as a “faith-based 501c3 that legally defends the First Amendment rights of free speech & religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and the family.” Phillips announced that they will be appealing the ruling.
This is not the first time that Scardina has taken legal action against Phillips. Scardina took Phillips to court again in 2018, but the Colorado Civil Rights Commission decided not to go forward with the case. Last June, Scardina filed another lawsuit, claiming that Phillips had violated both Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act and the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. The lawsuit claimed that Mr. Phillips “refused to sell a birthday cake to Ms. Scardina because she is transgender despite repeatedly advertising that he would sell birthday cakes to the general public, including LGBT individuals.”
Scardina’s attorney claimed that Phillips was engaging in deceptive business practices by denying her client service. Supporters of Phillips argue that he is well within his First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association, while those sympathetic to Scardina have called Phillips’ actions discriminatory. Kristen Waggoner, a member of the Alliance Defending Freedom, claimed on social media that the lawsuit was a setup, claiming that Scardina also requested a cake with Satan smoking a cigarette. Senator Tom Cotton also commented on the controversy, calling the lawsuit “government persecution.”