Jack Phillips co-owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop just can’t catch a break from the LGBTQ community. They really want his cakes.
This strange saga started in 2012, when a gay couple approached the Denver baker about making a cake for their wedding. However, Phillips is religious and personally opposed to same-sex marriage, and so he refused. Which should have been the end of it — but it was just the beginning. Three courts and six years later Phillips found himself standing before the Supreme Court of the United States, still arguing about that goddamned cake.
Eventually, the Supreme Court sided with Phillips, contending that the commission had shown “clear and impermissible hostility” to his religious beliefs. It was his American right to refuse to make a cake that violated his spiritual/philosophical values, they decided.
Before that case had even wrapped up, though, another customer walked through the doors of Masterpiece Cakeshop and requested another cake which Phillips had no option but to refuse. Again. This time, it was a birthday cake for a transgender woman named Autumn Scardina, intended to celebrate her transition from a male to a female.
Scardina, who’s an attorney, requested a cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside. And she did so, on the same day in 2017 when the Supreme Court announced it would hear his cake case's appeal. And when Phillips, predictably refused Scardina’s request because of its message, she initiated her own lawsuit against him. Alleging that Phillips is discriminating against LGBTQ people such as herself and claiming that it’s not about ‘compelled speech” and definitely wasn’t a set up — she just really wanted this cake from this particular cake maker, who was at the time ensnared in a legal melee that had gone all the way to the highest court in the land, over another, similar cake.
In a ruling on June 22nd Denver District Judge A. Bruce Jones upheld Scardina’s case against Phillips, writing, “The anti-discrimination laws are intended to ensure that members of our society who have historically been treated unfairly, who have been deprived of even the every-day right to access businesses to buy products, are no longer treated as ‘others.’”
Jones ordered Phillips to pay a $500 fine as a result.
Phillips however, will not be paying that. At least, not if the Alliance Defending Freedom, the group defending him has anything to say about this. They’re appealing the ruling, and Phillips' case is again ascending courts.
“Radical activists and government officials are targeting artists like Jack because they won’t promote messages on marriage and sexuality that violate their core convictions,” Alliance Defending Freedom’s general counsel, Kristen Waggoner, said in a statement.
Will Phillips ever be able to return to life as a normal cake shop owner? It seems like he has become a target for some in the LGBTQ community, who, for some reason, can’t just get their cakes at another shop. No — it isn’t cool that he’s denying LGBTQ customers his sweet confectionary masterpieces — but it’s also his right to do so. If people want him to respect their choices, perhaps they should start by respecting his. Perhaps they should try, literally any other cake maker in the city of Denver.