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Published On: Fri, Aug 17th, 2018

Transgender lawyer Autumn Scardina sues Colorado baker Jack Phillips over refusing ‘trans cake’

Just when you thought Jack Phillips was out of the headlines, he’s back.

The Colorado baker won a Supreme Court case over whether he can refuse service for same-sex weddings is suing the state again after a transgender lawyer, Autumn Scardina, ordered a birthday cake with a blue on the outside and pink on the inside. It was also mentioned that the cake would celebrate the seventh anniversary of the day she had come out as transgender.

“That’s a cake I can’t create for anybody,” Phillips told Colorado Public Radio.

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“Phillips declined to create the cake with the blue-and-pink design because it would have celebrated messages contrary to his religious belief that sex — 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 complaint stated.

Scardina sued, and Colorado officials in June of this year said there was “sufficient evidence” for her discrimination claim and directed her and Masterpiece Cakeshop to “compulsory mediation.”

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that there was probable cause that Phillips had discriminated against Scardina on the basis of gender identity.

In refusing to make a cake for the transgender woman, Phillips had “denied her equal enjoyment of a place of public accommodation,” Aubrey Elenis, director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division, wrote in her ruling.

The commission’s latest decision came two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled narrowly in favor of Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case that had originated when Phillips refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in 2012.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, made the narrow scope of the ruling explicit in his decision: “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

It should be repeated that Phillips’ objection is the latter part of the cake’s purpose: “the cake would celebrate the seventh anniversary of the day she had come out as transgender.”

That will have to be proved out in court.

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. Alan Morrissey says:

    A narrow decision? I believe it was 7-2.

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