Jack Philips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood Colorado is the owner of the infamous “Gay Cake” refusal.
Quite simply, he refused to create a wedding cake for 2 men, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, about to marry. He reasoned that he would have to act against his religious beliefs.
Craig and Mullins filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (similar to Privincial human rights commissions, in Canada). It ruled against Philips, claiming religion was just an excuse to justify bigotry.
So, Philips took his case to the Colorado Court of Appeals. The C.C.A. ruled that no religion had to be endorsed, but that service couldn’t be refused on protected grounds, such sexual orientation.
Finally, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which eventually ruled in the baker’s favour. However, critics complain that the ruling was on overly narrow grounds and did not actually make much of a precident. It wouldn’t address questions for florists, photographers, caterers, or others with a similar dilemma. The Supreme Court did however find the Civil Rights Commission was overly hostile to Philips.
The ruling sparked mixed opinions. Philips claims he has since had people calling to make ridiculous cakes, such as Satan cakes and cakes in the form of sex objects.
But now, Jack Philips is back in the news, and for basically the same reason: refusing to bake a cake for a transgender person named Autumn Scardina, celebrating the 7th anniversary of a gender change.
However, there is more than just a whiff of a conflict of interest here. Scardina is a lawyer whose firm does cases of employment disputes.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission has ruled that in principle this appears to be a discrimination case. So it would seem that matters will be heading down the same road as before.
However, Philips has decided to take a new approach here: suing governor Jerry Hickenlooper and other government officials, claiming religious persecution seen .
It will be interesting to see how things play out.
Author’s Views: To disclose outright, I believe that the baker should be able to refuse or accept any deal they want, and to accept or reject any business they want. It would be different if it were a government agency, or a monopoly. Several questions I must ask.
(1) As for the gay couple, why not simply find another baker? While it may be annoying to you, why not take your money and business to someone else?
(2) If you wanted others to know about this baker, why would it be necessary to sue him or go to the Civil Rights Commission? Was the purpose to harm his business?
(3) Part of the backlash against letting gay couples marry in 2015 was the claim (derided as paranoia) that it would lead to religious freedom being stepped on. Does this not prove that claim right?
(4) Regarding Autumn Scardina and the transgender cake: why go to this “specific” baker, when you knew about the case?
(5) Was it an attempt to get money from him and/or to further harm his business? Or to use your law firm to make a political point?
(6) As for both the gay cake and the trans cake: do you really want the cake for your “big day” to be made by somebody you filed a civil rights claim against? It’s not like he cares about keeping your business.