After the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a victory to a graphic designer who refused to design wedding websites for same-sex couples, Colorado’s highest court said Tuesday it would hear a Christian baker’s case. who refused to make a cake to celebrate gender transition.
The Colorado Supreme Court’s announcement is the latest development in the years-long legal saga involving Jack Phillips and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
Phillips won a partial victory before the US Supreme Court in 2018 after refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, but was later sued by Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman, who ordered her suburban bakery in Denver to make her a pink cake with blue icing for her birthday. The bakery refused after Scardina explained that she was going to celebrate her transition from a man to a woman.
The judges did not explain how or why they made that decision. This is informed by a long list of decisions on which cases they will hear and reject.
The case concerns the state’s anti-discrimination law, which prohibits denying services to people based on protected grounds such as race, religion or sexual orientation. The main issue in the case is whether the cakes Phillips made are a form of expression and whether forcing her to make a cake with a message she doesn’t support is a violation of her First Amendment right to free speech.
Earlier this year, the Colorado Court of Appeals sided with Scardina in the case, ruling that pie is not a form of speech. It also ruled that the anti-discrimination law, which prohibits denying service to people based on protected grounds such as race, religion or sexual orientation, does not infringe on the right of business owners to practice or expression of their religion.