More Government Hostility Leads to Dismissal v. Colorado Cake Designer

Colorado cake designer and bake shop owner Jack Phillips suffered loss because of Colorado government hatred of his religious beliefs, but the statements of certain government officials resulted in a second collapse of their plans to destroy him. (ADF photo)

Overwhelming signs of Colorado government hostility emerged as the case against cake designer Jack Phillips advanced toward a second hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Then, when the truth could not be denied, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission abandoned their complaint, the second such after a 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Phillip’s favor last June.

Phillips’ legal representation, the Alliance Defending Freedom, in a press release Tuesday, said that the manipulation of information was crystal clear from the beginning of the second Civil Rights Commission complaint.

“On the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado . . . (case), [a pro-LGBTQ activist] attorney asked cake artist Jack Phillips to create a cake designed . . . to celebrate a gender transition from male to female,” an ADF statement noted.

“The attorney said [it] was to celebrate a gender transition from male to female,” the ADF statement added. “Phillips declined the request because the custom cake would have expressed messages about sex and gender identity that conflict with his religious beliefs.”

The ADF noted in further statements that the state commissioners acted quickly after the Supreme Court decision against them, and they slammed Phillips with another complaint about his business practices, as if prejudiced or bigoted.

The commission said that they found probable cause, “to believe that Colorado law required him to create the requested gender-transition cake,” According to ADF statements.

On Tuesday, the commission dismissed its complaint against Phillips. The ADF statements noted that this was because of “newly discovered evidence of the state’s ongoing hostility toward religious freedom.”

Jack Phillips and his family, including little grandchildren, have suffered loss because of Colorado government bigotry against religious convictions that are derived form Biblical instruction, going so far as to call such beliefs “a despicable piece of rhetoric.”

“The state of Colorado is dismissing its case against Jack, stopping its six and a half years of hostility toward him for his beliefs,” said ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner, who argued on behalf of Phillips at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Jack’s victory is great news for everyone,” she added. “Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a diverse society like ours. . . . But the state’s demonstrated and ongoing hostility toward Jack because of his beliefs is undeniable.”

One commissioner called Phillips a hater on Twitter, which was widely known before, according to ADF comments. But ADF notes of more recent conversations added fuel to the fire of suspected commission bias.

The ADF noted that a state legislator disclosed recently a conversation in November 2018 that included a current commissioner’s expressed belief that there is an “anti-religious” bias on the commission.

“Just last week, ADF attorneys uncovered statements from a 2018 public meeting in which two commissioners voiced their support for comments that a previous commissioner, Diann Rice, made in 2015,” the ADF statement said.

“Those comments, which the U.S. Supreme Court sternly condemned in its ruling in favor of Phillips last year, called religious freedom ‘a despicable piece of rhetoric.’”

The acrimony against religious freedom did not end, nor was it assuaged, by the Supreme Court ruling, according to the ADF statements.

“At the June 22, 2018, public meeting, members of the commission discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling,” ADF statements added.

During that discussion, Commissioner Rita Lewis said, “I support Commissioner Diann Rice and her comments. I don’t think she said anything wrong.”

As evidence of the state’s hostility toward my faith continues to emerge, the state announced that it will be dismissing its most recent complaint against me

Later, Commissioner Carol Fabrizio added, “I also very much stand behind Commissioner Rice’s statements. . . . I was actually proud of what she said, and I agree with her. . . . I’m almost glad that something the Commissioner said ended up public and used, because I think it was the right thing.”

The ADF noted that the second complaint against Phillips came from a tactic of making order (by a transgender activist attorney) – using it to create a complaint and a legal issue to further attack Phillips.

The transgender activist attorney who targeted Phillips complained to the state about the cake artist’s decision not to create a cake designed pink on the inside and blue on the outside, that would reflect and celebrate a gender transition.

“The attorney who requested that cake later asked Phillips to design a cake with satanic themes and images,” the ADF statement said.

“We’re pleased that the state will be dismissing its case against Jack,” said Kristen K. Waggoner, senior vice president of U.S. legal division and communications with Alliance Defending Freedom.

“This is the second time the state has launched a failed effort to prosecute him,” she added. “While it finally appears to be getting the message that its anti-religious hostility has no place in our country, the state’s decision to target Jack has cost him more than six-and-a-half years of his life.”

“We hope that the state is done going along with obvious efforts to harass Jack,” added ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell. “He shouldn’t be driven out of business just because some people disagree with his religious beliefs and his desire to live consistently with them.”

The ADF press packet regarding Tuesday’s developments left the last word to Phillips himself. “When I set out to build my dream of opening my own cake shop, combining my love for art and baking in a family business, I never imagined this chapter would be part of the Masterpiece Cakeshop story.”

Phillips added, “I have and will always serve everyone who comes into my shop. I simply can’t celebrate events or express messages that conflict with my religious beliefs. The Supreme Court affirmed that government hostility against people of faith is unconstitutional, and that Colorado was hostile to my faith. That hostility cost me 40 percent of my business and the wedding work that I love to do.”

“But even after this, Colorado was relentless in seeking to crush me and my shop for living consistently with my deeply held religious beliefs,” Phillips continued.

“The state launched a new prosecution against me just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled in my favor. Yet today, as evidence of the state’s hostility toward my faith continues to emerge, the state announced that it will be dismissing its most recent complaint against me. Today is a win for freedom. I’m very grateful and looking forward to serving my customers as I always have: with love and respect.”


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