LAKEWOOD, CO — A Lakewood cake shop owner is heading to court again over his refusal to make a birthday cake with a transgender theme. Arvada lawyer Autumn Scardina is suing Masterpiece Cakeshop after she asked the business last year to make a cake that shows her transition from male to female, and was turned down.
Scardina filed a complaint with the Colorado Division of Civil Rights, which ordered the shop’s owner, Jack Phillips, into compulsory mediation. Phillips, in turn, sued the State of Colorado, saying he was a victim of “unconstitutional bullying,” and he and the state dropped their litigation in a truce earlier this year.
The controversial cake shop first made headlines in 2012, when Phillips said he would not make a cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins. The couple sued, and both the Civil Rights Commission and the state’s Court of Appeals ruled in their favor. The famous case made its way to the Supreme Court, which issued a 7-2 ruling in favor of the cake shop. The opinion emphasized the baker’s right to free speech, as artistically manifested in cake design.
In the lawsuit filed last week, Scardina said it was clear she was being discriminated against as a transgender woman.
“Before learning she is transgender, Masterpiece Cakeshop had agreed to make and sell a pink birthday cake with blue frosting to Ms. Scardina,” stated her complaint. “It was only upon learning of her status as a transgender woman that Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to sell her a birthday cake.”
Phillips did not immediately respond to a request for comment; however, he has posted numerous statements over the years explaining that he does not make cakes that violate his religious beliefs.
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“It’s not just same-sex weddings I don’t make cakes for,” Phillips said in a video. “I also don’t make bachelor party cakes or Halloween cakes with witchcraft or demons.”
The conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Phillips in his Supreme Court win, is representing him again in the latest lawsuit. The alliance said Phillips “serves everyone; he just cannot express all messages through his custom cakes.”