The Colorado baker, who achieved a partial victory at the Supreme Court in 2018 after refusing to make a wedding cake for a couple, violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a birthday cake for ‘ to make a transgender woman. on Tuesday.
In his ruling, Judge A. Bruce Jones of the Denver District Court found that the baker, Jack Phillips, violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act when he overturned Autumn Scardina’s request for a birthday cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the outside. was, dismissed. inside because she is a transgender woman. Phillips was fined $ 500, the maximum fine for an offense.
According to court documents, Mrs. Scardina refused the cake only after she said the colors symbolized her transition, although the bakery had already agreed that it could create a pink cake with blue frost. During the trial in March, Mr. Phillips argued that his Christian beliefs prevented him from creating custom cakes that would ‘violate his religious beliefs’, a defense of the first amendment similar to his argument in the 2018 Supreme Court case.
At the heart of Judge Jones ‘ruling is the idea that baking and decorating a cake in the style requested by a customer is not a form of’ forced speech ‘, which means that Phillips’ rights first amendment was not in question. According to the judge, the case was not with the cake itself, but with the meaning with which Ms. Scardina soaked it.
‘Here, the refusal to provide the bakery is inextricably linked with the refusal to provide me. Recognize Scardina as a woman, ‘he wrote.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, the group that Mr. Phillips has represented since his high court case, Said Wednesday that it will appeal against the judgment of the district court.
Kristen Wagoner, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, who Mr. Representing Phillips, said in a statement that the group believes that Mrs. Scardina brought the case to Mr. To “test” Phillips.
“The decision is a disturbing trend that we see where activists can use the legal system to completely destroy those with whom they disagree,” Wagoner said in an interview. She added that since he filed the first case against Mr. Phillips filed for bankruptcy in 2012, claiming he had financial backlogs in his business because he had to cut staff and limit his operations.
In his ruling, Judge Jones rejected the view that the request of Ms. Scardina is an ‘essay’ to start litigation. “
In an interview Thursday, Ms. Scardina said the case was never really about Mr. Phillips is not going.
“It’s always been about the principle,” she said. “And that’s a principle we’ve been attending for the last 80 or so years since the civil rights struggle in the ’60s: a business should be open to everyone if it’s open to the public.”
“We all have the same right to the same cake,” she said.
The ruling on Tuesday comes as lawsuits over transgender rights are being waged in state legislatures and courts across the country. According to data from the Human Rights Campaign, one of the country’s largest advocacy groups for LGBTQ, more than 100 bills targeting transgender people have been proposed in state legislatures in the past year, with the most focus on restricting trans children access to sports teams and gender reassignment of healthcare.
In 2018, the High Court ruled in favor of Mr. Phillips ruled, saying the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which originally ruled against the baker for failing to make a wedding cake for a couple, was religiously hostile because of the remarks of one of its members.