Colorado Baker Counter-Sues Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Gets Case Against Him Dropped

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Colorado Baker Counter-Sues Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Gets Case Against Him Dropped

Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who was vilified by the Supreme Court after refusing to bake a cake for a same sex couple based on religious grounds, has now also “won” a separate lawsuit against him. This separate lawsuit brought against his family owned business Masterpiece Cakes, was after they refused a request from a customer who called and asked them to make a gender transitioning cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside. The call came hours after the Supreme Court said it would hear the case against him in based on the cake for same sex couple. Another lawsuit filed by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was born.

Fast forward a couple years that include a Supreme Court win in the original case, and Phillips has now won another battle against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. After the second lawsuit was brought against him, Phillips counter-sued basically for harassment and religious bigotry against him. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission agreed to drop this second case after the Alliance Defending Freedom, who was representing Phillips and Masterpiece Cakes, proved that there was a religious bias against Phillips from the commission`s members.  As posted on the ADF site on this case:

“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. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a diverse society like ours. They enable us to peacefully coexist with each another. But the state’s demonstrated and ongoing hostility toward Jack because of his beliefs is undeniable.”

The fact that one commissioner called Phillips a “hater” on Twitter was already publicly known. But a Colorado state legislator recently disclosed that he spoke in November 2018 to a current commissioner who expressed the belief that “there is anti-religious bias on the Commission.” And 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. 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.”

At the June 22, 2018, public meeting, members of the commission discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling. During that discussion, Commissioner Rita Lewis said, “I support Commissioner Diann Rice and her comments. I don’t think she said anything wrong.” 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.”

Phillips concluded this win with the statement: “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, 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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