Colorado Rights Panel Defies High Court’s Cakeshop Ruling, ADF Argues
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) officials are suing the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) and its executive director for doing what the Supreme Court specifically barred, attorney Kristen Waggoner said on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” Wednesday.
“We’re suing the executive director. I mean, the Supreme Court made it abundantly clear that the Commission was wrong to target Jack’s beliefs and that they treated other cake artists differently than Jack by allowing them to decline messages but refusing Jack that same freedom,” Waggoner, senior vice president of the ADF’s U.S. legal division, told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
Phillips (pictured above center) earned liberals’ ire in July 2012 when he declined to use his artistic skills to decorate a cake for a gay wedding because it would violate his deeply held religious beliefs. The Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision in June that the CCRC violated Phillips’ First Amendment rights when it treated his Christianity with “hostility” and “bias.”
Waggoner and ADF represented Phillips before the Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. That case was the ninth won by ADF in recent years in litigation to protect religious freedom.
But on the same day in 2017 that the Supreme Court accepted Phillips’ case, a Colorado attorney called him with a request to create a customized cake celebrating a gender transition anniversary.
Although Phillips explained to the attorney that he would serve “anybody who comes into the shop gladly,” he said creating a cake specifically celebrating a gender transition would violate his religious beliefs. Phillips told Ingraham that the attorney, who called and did not enter the shop, asked him to repeat his reasoning.
“There are a lot of cakes that we don’t create,” Phillips explained to Ingraham, such as cakes that are “anti-American or that would disparage or denigrate other people — including people who identify as LGBT.”
“Those are cakes that we won’t create because [of] the message that those cakes portray,” Phillips continued. “It feels like being targeted. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission is coming after me again after the United States Supreme Court has told them they are hostile to my faith and that they can’t do that. And yet here we are again in this same situation.”
Ingraham said that the “goal here is to put Jack out of business.”
“Oh, it absolutely is,” Waggoner agreed.
Although the Supreme Court issued a narrow ruling instead of a sweeping judgment weighing First Amendment rights against LGBT rights, Waggoner argued that the ruling “was right on the nose when it comes to the Commission’s hostility and its denigration of Jack’s faith and its double-standard in how it’s treating cake designers that it likes.”
“So they’re going to lose,” Waggoner said.
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