Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips Loses Appeal Over Transgender Transition Celebration Cake
It’s never really over in the culture war, is it? Perhaps on a second trip to the U.S. Supreme Court we will finally get a ruling on the merits of whether anti-discrimination laws can be used to compel speech with which the speaker disagrees on religious grounds.
Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips doesn’t refuse to sell baked goods to anyone. What he objects to is baking cakes conveying a message with which he disagrees on religious grounds. So for a decade he has been subject to unrelenting lawfare trying to compel him to express views celebrating gay and transgender messages he claims are against his religious beliefs.
The first of these cases involved a wedding cake for a gay wedding and went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled in Phillips’ favor on mostly procedural grounds, as we reported in 2018, Supreme Court Ruled in Favor of Colorado Baker Who Refused to Bake Wedding Cake for Gay Couple.
The Supreme Court opinion noted that the case was, in Phillip’s view, about religious freedom and forced speech:
Phillips claims, however, that a narrower issue is presented. He argues that he had to use his artistic skills to make an expressive statement, a wedding endorsement in his own voice and of his own creation. As Phillips would see the case, this contention has a significant First Amendment speech component and implicates his deep and sincere religious beliefs. In this context the baker likely found it difficult to find a line where the customers’ rights to goods and services became a demand for him to exercise the right of his own personal expression for their message, a message he could not express in a way consistent with his religious beliefs.
There was a second case was over a cake celebrating gender transition, Colorado goes after Masterpiece Cakeshop again – this time over “gender transition” cake:
On June 26, 2017, the very same day the Supreme Court agreed to take the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, Attorney Autumn Scardina called the cake shop to request a “gender transition” cake. The cake shop declined, so on July 20, 2017, Scardina filed a complaint, with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission:
I believe I was unlawfully discriminated against because of my protectcd class(es) in violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA). 1.) On or about June 26. 2017, I was denied full and equal enjoyment of a place of public accommodation. Specifically, the Respondent refused to prepare my order for a cake with pink interior and blue exterior, which I disclosed was inttended for the celebration of my transition from male to female. Furthermore. 1hc Respondent indicated to me that to prepare such a cake would be against their religious beliefs. 2.) I believe I was discriminated against because of my protected class(cs).
That case was dropped, Masterpiece Cakeshop wins again – CO drops prosecution for refusal to bake ‘gender-transition cake’.
But it’s never really over, is it? There was a third case, in June 2019, Masterpiece Cakeshop Sued A Third Time, Ostensibly Over “Gender Transition” Cake. The complainant was the same woman as in case no. 2, but suing herself instead of the State of Colorado bringing the case:
Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado is once again the target of a lawsuit. This time, the family-run bakeshop is being sued not by Colorado but by the complainant, Attorney Autumn Scardina, in the dropped suit filed by the state….
Round 3 now appears to be in progress: Scardina has now filed suit against the bakery and is seeking “damages on claims of Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act violations and deceptive and unfair trade practices.”
Phillips lost Round 3 in June 2021, Colorado Judge Fines Masterpiece Cakeshop For Refusing To Bake Gender Transition Cake
On June 15, 2021, state court judge A. Bruce Jones rendered the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (pdf.), imposing a $500 fine for violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.
The Judge rejected the legal defense of freedom of religion and freedom from compelled speech:
In arguing that they should prevail in this matter, Defendants quote the stirring words of Justice Jackson in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943). But as Defendants also argue, context matters. In Barnette, government officials insisted that the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses salute the flag—a basic form of compelled patriotism through symbolic speech. Id. at 627-30. That is quite different than preventing places of public accommodation from discriminating against transgender persons. 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.” This case is about one such product—a pink and blue birthday cake—and not compelled speech.
An appeal was taken, and today the appeal was denied, with the court rejecting the argument that the cake was a form of speech:
The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that the cake Autumn Scardina requested from Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop, which was to be pink with blue frosting, is not a form of speech….
Relying on the findings of a Denver judge in a 2021 trial in the dispute, the appeals court said Phillips’ shop initially agreed to make the cake but then refused after Scardina explained that she was going to use it to celebrate her transition from male to female.
“We conclude that creating a pink cake with blue frosting is not inherently expressive and any message or symbolism it provides to an observer would not be attributed to the baker,” said the court, which also rejected procedural arguments from Phillips.
From the Opinion:
¶ 1 This case requires us to resolve a dispute between the parties arising out of important rights that each enjoys. The plaintiff, Autumn Scardina, contends she was denied service by a bakery because of her identity as a trans woman, in violation of her right to be free from discrimination in a place of public accommodation. In contrast, the defendants, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc. (Masterpiece) and its proprietor, Jack Phillips, contend their decision not to make a cake for Scardina was based on their firm and sincere religious beliefs and the right to be free from compelled speech that would violate those beliefs. We agree with the trial court’s judgment in favor of Scardina and therefore affirm.
¶ 56 In a similar vein, Phillips testified he would make the same custom pink and blue cake for other customers. He stated he would make the cake if he did not know why the cake was being used, and, most critically, Phillips acknowledged that a pink cake with blue frosting “has no intrinsic meaning and does not express any message.”
¶ 57 It was only after Scardina disclosed that she was transgender and intended to use the cake to celebrate both her birthday and her transition that Masterpiece and Phillips refused to provide the cake. Thus, it was Scardina’s transgender status, and her desire to use the cake in celebration of that status, that caused Masterpiece and Phillips to refuse to provide the cake.
¶ 59 …. For these reasons, we conclude that the trial court did not err by concluding that Masterpiece and Phillips discriminated against Scardina because of her status as a trans woman.
¶ 68 Masterpiece and Phillips assert that the trial court’s ruling compels them to speak in violation of their First Amendment Rights. To establish a claim for compelled speech, a defendant must show that the subject conduct constitutes (1) speech, (2) to which the defendant objects, that is (3) compelled by governmental action. Cressman v. Thompson, 798 F.3d 938, 951 (10th Cir. 2015). In this case, the second and third elements are not disputed. Thus, resolution of the issue rests upon whether the creation of a pink cake with blue frosting constitutes protected speech.
¶ 74 The question in this case, however, is not whether Phillips’ artistic efforts in creating a custom cake never or always amount to expressive conduct. Rather, the only issue presented is whether making a pink cake with blue frosting rises to the level of protected conduct….
¶ 83 We conclude that creating a pink cake with blue frosting is not inherently expressive and any message or symbolism it provides to an observer would not be attributed to the baker. Thus, CADA does not compel Masterpiece and Phillips to speak through the creation and sale of such a cake to Scardina.
Alliance Defending Freedom, which has represented Phillips from the start and is a premier religious liberty law foundation, says a further appeal will be taken:
“Free speech is for everyone. No one should be forced to express a message that violates their core beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner, who argued before the court on behalf of Phillips in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop. “Over a decade ago, Colorado officials began targeting Jack, misusing state law to force him to say things he does not believe. Then an activist attorney continued that crusade. This cruelty must stop. One need not agree with Jack’s views to agree that all Americans should be free to say what they believe, even if the government disagrees with those beliefs. The same law being used to punish Jack is also at issue now at the U.S. Supreme Court in 303 Creative v. Elenis. The Court there should reject Colorado’s attempt to mandate orthodoxy and drive views it disfavors from the public square and affirm that graphic artist Lorie Smith and all artists—writers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, calligraphers, cake artists, and more—have the right to create freely without fear of government punishment. Cultural winds may shift, but freedom of speech is foundational to our self-government and to the free and fearless pursuit of truth.”
Perhaps another trip to SCOTUS will happen. The high court looks very different than it did back in 2018, it is much more favorable to religious freedom and has a 6-3 majority on that topic. So maybe the second visit to SCOTUS will result in a ruling on the merits of whether anti-discrimination laws can be used to compel speech with which the speaker disagrees on religious grounds.
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Or maybe take a page from “The Help” and just bake the cake.
Wow. 4 down votes. Someone must not get the “Two Slice Hilly” reference …
Never heard of it. Had to look it up. You’re dealing with a guy whose bucket list still includes Casablanca and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
I agree…you’re going to force someone to make your food? Really? Force them? And humiliate them in the process? What could possibly go wrong?
I learned doing KP in the Army, don’t f*ck with people who make you food.
Funny, but moral high ground and all that.
Yeah, all that … my frame of mind to bake them a turd-cake is along the lines of an old cartoon I kept from the mimeograph days at the office … it depicts an eagle with talons extended about to pounce on a mouse – who in what the comic calls “the last act of defiance” stands at attention and lifts a single rigid-digit in the face of the eagle … with that poor cake shop owner facing his 3rd (?) lawsuit from those turd stains, I’m afraid I’d be like “you want some of this? well here you go – I hope you choke to death on it …”
And, word gets out and his regular customers depart in droves.
But what a way to go out, eh?!? Crazy as conservatives are for a ‘hero’, he might get the Chick-Fil-A treatment …
Everyone should find a ‘liberal’ bakery and ask to have a “Kill A Homosexual Day” cake made. Then sue when the bakery won’t create it.
Or…and hear me out here…she could have fucked off somewhere else to get her cake baked right???
Unless the dude pretending to be a chick is being paid to be an asshole and harass the baker.
Not necessary to pay the person. The virtue they achieve in their hedonistic religion is reward enough.
I would not put my best effort into it, by any means.
Will they be perusing this activity in a Muslim bakery? Just wondering….
I am gay and not one single bit “non binary.” I think androgyny is a soft-on. Always has been. I support Masterpiece, with reservations. But guess what? I have resevations on everything, because I think for myself. In any case, I hope the Supreme Court supports Masterpiece, but in such a way as to not protect the sort of discrimination that could really do damage.
Personal story. In ’15, after the Supremes legalized same-sex marriage nationwide (I’d have preferred civil unions, but the wingnuts in several states put the kibosh on that), we got married. I had reservations about putting our names on any list, but at some point you take a risk.
Afterwards, we were in a town in NE Oregon — truly God’s Country — and there was a jeweler. Walked in and said we wanted rings, but said: “If this is against your religion, just tell us. Not in a million years will I make some call to some asshole in Salem.”
5 or 6 thousand dollars and a few months later, we got two really nice rings made of gold and platinum. If someone’s dumb enough to turn away business, fine. If it’s serious and gets in the way of what really counts, it’s a problem. But not making a cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage or a “transition?” Sorry, but at most that’s an irritation.
At most. In reality, it’s a face begging for a fist. No, no, no, no.
Were I the jeweler and you told me you were already married and the rings were intended to commemorate and celebrate that fact, I’d have no problem making them for you. But if you intended to use them in a marriage ceremony I’d have to turn down the commission, because making them would make me an accomplice in an act that I think is wrong. (I’d have no problem if it were a civil union or a commitment ceremony; my objection is only to something that holds itself out as a marriage.)
What is overlooked is that in the service business, prefessional service providers turn down work all the time for various reasons (and valid reasons), lack of capacity, observation that the potential customer will be problem customer (high maintenance , fee dispute, difficult customer to satisfy, bad personality or behavior likely to sue for no reason).
As a CPA, we evaluate every new client to determine if we want to provide services to the that client. I typically turn down 2-5 clients per year ( I am at near capacity, so its not a case of needing the business)
I hear that, Joe. Same professional skepticism here, too, learned practicing as a CPA some years ago. Trained to assess potential litigation risks before accepting clients.
Not sure if someone who I might observe as emotionally unstable, or “not all there”, or obviously just an absolute jerk, can still be rejected as a client. I hope so. If no longer permitted, I suppose a simple doubling of the potential fee estimate might work.
And nothing (almost, generally) to do with a professional’s religious beliefs.
It seems likely that all the lawyers on board here would have the same experience with potentially “difficult” clients.
just to clarify, most of the work i turn away is due to capacity issues and the returns are better suited for other cpa’s (not related to litigation potential). The last client I turned down for bad vibes was individual that had gone through several cpa’s in just 4 years and had lots of exposure on prior return errors, missing refund claims and only wanted to pay max of $800 for work I estimated would cost in range to $5000 to correct the multitude of errors..
Phillips had agreed to the cake, until he learned that it was to celebrate gender-reveal. It was only then that he turned down the work. He’d engaged the customer, but then the customer became disagreeable.
If the jeweler had turned us away, I’d have smiled and shaken my head, but that’s all. Lots of places to get rings. I don’t think these cases belong in court. It trivializes the underlying idea. Don’t sell me rings, and I’ll live. Refuse to perform open heart surgery because I’m same-sex married and it’s a Catholic hospital, and someone’s going to hear about it.
I’m sure you know that no Catholic hospital, nor any other hospital, would ever do that.
I’m not aware of anyone who would discriminate against people who happen to be same-sex-married. Some people (such as me) think you were wrong to get same-sex-married, and shouldn’t have done it, but it’s already done. It’s in the past, and it’s none of our business. It only becomes our business if you want us to participate in the ceremony, e.g. by selling you the rings, building your wedding web site, baking your cake, or renting you the event space, or by inviting us to attend.
basically you acted like an adult and not someone trying to gain a social media score. I can respect that.
A cake isn’t hard to get. It is not analogous to a lunch counter in the Jim Crow era. Arguing otherwise is unserious. Go somewhere else. Allow individual citizens to not only hold but express their individual liberty rights of association and conscience.
IMO a religious defense shouldn’t be necessary. It seems first a question of whether the State has a legitimate interest in suppressing his freedom to associate then suppress his freedom of conscience. What societal interest is being served and based upon what specific Constitutional language that offsets the liberty interests of Mr Phillips?
The fact this woman raised several law suites should tell us she’s not serious about the cake, it never was about the cake but about punishing someone she hates with the process of having to defend themselves from people like her.
She should have been treated like a vexatious (sorry, spelling!!) litigant and told to fuck off by the court system.
But here we are, with another trip to SCOTUS on the offing!
You spelled it correctly.
And she didn’t raise several lawsuits. She filed a complaint with the state, which sued on her behalf, but when the state decided to drop the suit she picked it up herself. Supposing she had a valid complaint, what else should she have done? What would you have done if you had a valid complaint that the state refused to proceed with?
“Supposing she had a valid complaint…” That’s what the court is supposed to determine. I agree with the comments that she is basically just a creep trying to control part of the baker’s life. She should be made to go away and not come back.
Now, if there were only one baker within 1000 miles, I might think differently. But that’s not the case.
Distance shouldn’t matter. Refusing business shouldn’t be considered legal or not based on whether or not a local business will provide the service. And anyway, anyone can bake a cake, you don’t need a professional.
And the courts, so far, have determined that her claim is valid. You and I don’t agree with that, but so far that is the legal result. And she definitely thinks her case is valid. And the plain fact is that someone with a valid claim has every right to pursue it, even if the state declines to do so. Having the state drop a complaint is no reason to abandon it.
You just undermined your arguement by pointing to what I was talking about Justice Mulhouse 😂😂 She complained once and got told to fuck off, and complained a second time because, you know, she’s just a righteous rights campaigner buuuuut should have been told to fuck off a second time 🙄
What should she have done? Well this one’s quite easy to answer. She should have fucked off elsewhere to get her “I’m mentally retarded” cake baked or just kept her mouth shut so as to not set this guy up for the law suite.
She basically deliberately entrapped him KNOWING she’d get exactly the result she was hungering for (when she should have been hungering for some cake). All that makes her a vexatious litigant!
No, mailman, she didn’t get told to fuck off, and she did not complain a second time. The state dropped her case, so she picked it up, that’s all. That’s what you would have done, if you had a valid case.
Yes, of course she set him up to create a lawsuit. That is what hundreds of legitimate complainants do every day. That is NOT what a vexatious litigant is.
I’d have to be convinced that lunch counters were hard to find.
Unsegregated ones were, at that time and place.
Because of the law, not because of the people.
Irrelevant to Henry’s point.
“A cake isn’t hard to get. ”
This is just a case of two people wanting some publicity, and wanting to be troublemakers.
“It is not analogous to a lunch counter in the Jim Crow era. Arguing otherwise is unserious.”
What is deadly serious is the attempt of the gay/trans lobby to force everyone into accepting the trans agenda: using emotional blackmail and the courts, demand acceptance of the lie that changing sex is possible and promote the concept of “gender” to divorce sex from secondary sex characteristics. Toleration is no longer enough; activists insist that trans-sexuality be normalized to the point that we deny sex and accept the Gender Lie and teach it to our children in the public schools. To argue against them is to be branded a “phobe” and silenced. This emotional blackmail rejects the “sticks and stones” concept we learn in childhood. They want Big Brother to punish and silence us for challenging their claims because those challenges hurt their feelings. Indeed, denying the reality of their delusion makes some trans-sexuals so depressed that they off themselves. Pointing out the Gender Lie is, therefore, actual (psychic?) assault. This is the bizarre “reasoning” that is challenging our right to uncensored political speech.
The trans movement (and it is a political movement of “liberation” in the neo-Marxist sense), if it succeeds, will end free speech in the US by deploying the evil concept of “hate speech” and making it an exception to First Amendment protection. It’s already happened in the UK. The only thing delaying it here is that pesky Constitution.
This emotional blackmail
It’s the Inquisition. The Progressive Inquisition. It’s designed to force all infidels way underground or confess and “believe”.
The trans movement … will end free speech in the US
But that’s not its end point. That’s merely something that has to happen on the way over the rainbow, to their utopia of hedonism and reason.
You have to realize that this is happening in Colorado. The Democrats hold both Houses of the Legislature overwhelmingly in no small part because the Colorado Republican Party does not want to oppose the Democrats in anything. The just started session is going to have a gun confiscation bill and a statewide rent control bill [just announced today], which probably will pass in no small part because of that lack of opposition.
We have a Democrat governor and have for seemingly forever. Our last real chance at electing a Republican was in 2010 when we [this is just before I left the Republican Party] the party base overwhelmingly nominated Dan Maes for governor with the support of the TEA Party. The Republican response was to bribe the Constitution Party to nominate a machine Republican, and to funnel all their campaign funds to the Constitution Party, thus splitting the vote and deliberately giving the governorship to the Democrats.
The current Democrat governor is openly gay, married, with an adopted child. Guess where he stands on the issue. And guess which party has been nominating state judges for decades. There is no way in Hades that the courts were going to rule against Phillips. It will take Federal court intervention, and even that is shaky since the rule of law does not obtain in Democrat ruled areas.
To keep your rifle, you have to show direct ownership…. a sales slip. No slip, gun must be turned in. Also, this was proposed legislation at national level for all firearms. Anything passed down, inherited or bought without background check at fed/state level would be gone. That’s how you turn tens and tens of millions of firearms into felony possession. Yes, confiscation.
They’re intentionally pushing for The Big One to be started by the right.
What’s the bill number so I can look it up?
If the request really was just for a pink cake with blue frosting, then I think he probably should have just made it as if it was any other customer.
If there was further decoration requested, though, that might well change things.
Waiting for the downvotes…
He was going to make the cake, until the customer told him what it represented. Once he knew that, he could no longer make it, because he would be expressing a message he very much opposed. Suppose someone calls a Jewish baker and orders a cake to be iced in grey, with golden dots scattered over it; he agrees, and then the customer reveals that the cake is for Hitler’s birthday, the grey represents the ashes of burned Jews, and the dots represent the gold teeth ready to be picked out of the ashes. That knowledge changes the whole nature of the job, and he can no longer in good conscience do it.
I’m just a layman, so I can’t really speak to the legal issues, but to me that’s apples and oranges.
In your example, the gold dots make it closer to artistic expression and freedom of speech. In Colorado, I don’t see a mention of any special decoration, just a frosted cake.
Gold dots are just frosting too. They don’t carry any inherent meaning. But once the customer explains the message they are intended to convey, they become speech. Ditto for the blue frosting on a pink cake. To this customer that conveyed a specific message, and once s/he informed him of it it became speech.
No. At what point do you people realize this man is being persecuted by bad people?
I completely agree that he is. And I also agree that he should have the freedom of association right to turn the lawyer away. I’m just not convinced by a freedom of religion argument here.
His religion is the principle that impels him to decline association. I don’t see how you can separate them, or why you would need to.
We lost freedom of association with the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
I’d have to agree with you. The goal of the Civil Rights movement was originally to rid the country of Jim Crow laws which prohibited the right of free association between whites and blacks and which kept blacks in second class citizenship relative to whites. The Civil Rights act allowed the law to be used to discriminate against whites in the hopes of some that the wrongs of the past could be righted by force. Affirmative Action was in fact a violation of the non discrimination clause in the Civil Rights Act and and has caused unending divisiveness in American society to this day.
Racism would have gone the way of the dodo bird if the law was used properly to protect the inalienable rights of people and not used as a tool of social engineering by power hungry people.. The success of the Civil Rights movement to eliminate Jim Crow laws proved that racism was going the way of the dodo bird in America.
What this man has been through for almost two decades is incredible! He M<UST have the Holy Ghost with him, because lesser men would have crumbled long ago. GOD Bless Him!
They will never leave him alone
So you just want him to give in, destroy his belief system?
Like murdering a baby at 15 weeks is ok, but 16 weeks is not?
One of my favorite movies is The Night of the Hunter. Robert Mitchum is an evil preacher chasing after a boy and girl through the countryside. They get a head start on him by boating down a river. Later in the night the kids hide in a barn to sleep. Before dawn, the boy wakes up and hears the preacher singing. He sees him in the distance on a horse. The boy says: “Don’t he never sleep?”
These people are just like that preacher. They are relentless psychos. No one bothered to smack them down hard long ago. Now they have power and love using it.
Yep. When evil people get power they never relinquish it. And now you know why these evil people are desperate to get you disarmed.
Or, murdering a pregnant woman will result in two counts of murder, but if ghe woman murders her unborn child it’s A-OK.
They recently raised a golden statue in New York which was meant to be in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is of a golden female with locks that curl to resemble two goat horns. Many are saying this is Satanic and demonic because the statue looks like a female version of the demon Moloch.
The last time a golden statue was erected by man, that civilization was destroyed by God. It seems we don’t need God to do what we are doing to ourselves.
Colorado looks to be seeking a pretext, any pretext, to rule against Phillips so their ruling is pretty much as expected. The problem is the facts don’t support their claim.
According to them Phillips discriminated against Scardina because he’s transgender and his order was refused. Except in their own notes they specify that the order was accepted without question or quibble. But Scardina didn’t want a cake, he wanted a court case, and so he deliberately specified that the cake he was ordering was a message to celebrate his choice of lifestyle.
Phillips has consistently said that he will serve any customer but will not supply every order, as is his legal right. The problem is those of the homofascist and transfascist alignment refuse to tolerate folk who can’t or don’t support their choices.
Hopefully SCOTUS once again smacks some sense into the Colorado legal system.
IANAL but could Masterpiece countersue for vexatious litigation, malicious prosecution, abuse of process or something?
This is the sort of case that would have been decided back in my childhood by several pillars of the community taking the litigant out into the town auto parts yard and returning without hir.
Boogers, that was supposed to be a reply to Milhouse’s post, below.
IANAL but could Masterpiece countersue for vexatious litigation, malicious prosecution, abuse of process or something?
Da** well ought to be able to. And should.
No, it can’t. Even if it ultimately wins, the fact that the trial court and appeals court both agreed with the plaintiff means that her case is by definition not frivolous or vexatious, so bringing it is not an abuse of process.
Here’s the key bit that I think the appeals court got wrong:
This is true. The cake has no intrinsic meaning, and had he made it without knowing what it was for he would not have been expressing anything, let alone anything objectionable. But the knowledge of what it was intended to represent changed all that. The customer deliberately told him, because the whole point was to force him to express her message. Making it without that crucial knowledge would not have achieved anything for her. She had to tell him, precisely to put him in this fix. And that makes it a clear first amendment case.
There is a bias against freedom of religion. We all know it. We need to stop using it as the primary arguement. The reality of the situation is that any business that does custom work cannot realistically accept every job that comes their way for any number of reasons, so sometimes they HAVE TO say No. Maybe there’s a schedule conflict, or a personality mismatch, or an impossible request (no I cannot do that fondant design in buttercream. It won’t end well & I have a reputation to keep). Since any given artist cannot reasonably meet the needs of every client, sometimes custom work must be refused. It happens every day! That said, No one should be obligated to give a reason or otherwise defend not accepting custom work.
People will still claim discrimination, but it’s a lot harder to prove if you never say anything more that “I will be unable to accept this job.”
No. In this country you not only have freedom of religion, but freedom to say no and freedom to decline to associate with any group. This is an attack on the entire foundation of America. How about you learn to defend ALL aspects of the Constitution and not parts you don’t like, Antifundamentalist (people who turn out to be the most fundamentalist of all).
Well, I suppose we can keep bringing the same arguements to the same courts for the same reasons and continue to get the same resonse, regardless of what our foundational documents say on the subject – our courts have been violating our Constitutional Rights about as long as the ink on the document has been dry.
There’s this saying about the definitions of Stupidity…..
In this case he had already said yes, until he heard what the design was supposed to represent.
Let’s see if SCOTUS takes the case and what they do
So what? The whole thing is a set-up. As long as SCOTUS is too cowardly to enunciate a clear principle, the duplicitous zealots will continue to oppress this business.
“Freedom of association”, like “states rights” got tarnished in the public perception when they were invoked to defend Jim Crow.
But both principles can and do defend and protect the citizenry against govt overreach and abuse. As re: SR the founders purposely layered our governance so Federal issues were to be decided and the federal level, state at that level, and so on down to the town/village/city level. There’s no overriding need to have universally uniform regulations, laws and rules nationwide when public needs and public opinion are not universally uniform. Unless there is overriding need, like Jim Crow dictating who is free to associate with who. In that case FoA of the individual citizen was being violated by JC, so invoking FoA to defend JC was ludicrous.
Similarly, requiring By Law citizens to associate when they don’t want to conflicts with FoA. I wouldn’t want a neonazi group to be able to force a Jewish baker to cater their monthly meet, let alone have to sell double-H shaped pastries or cakes with explicate text he thinks offensive. Replace the pairings with black baker and klan group, or devout Muslim/Christian baker and gay advocate group and the product with something else intended to pull their chain and you’ve also got someone trolling for a frivolous lawsuit and not a purchase.
A sane judiciary would kick such suits at a low level, and a non-political supreme judiciary should do the same.
There is a bias against freedom of religion.
Wrong. There is a bias against one religion (two if you don’t include Judaism with Christianity).
One of the biggest victories Progressivism ever attained was convincing people they are not a religion just because they don’t worship a “sky god”. They are absolutely a religion, and an all-consuming, totalist one at that.
The cake is a commissioned work of art. Any artist is able (should be able) to reject work that he doesn’t want. What is next? Will the artist be forced to work for a certain price?
I want Scardina to go to a Muslim bakery and demand the same cake.
Kind of like this.
I don’t know why my earlier comment decided to show as a reply to yours.
I would probably take the coward’s way out that avoids lawyers. I would quote them triple my usual price, payable in advance for a custom piece. If they came through with the outrageous price, I would do the piece and hold my nose all the way to the bank.
If a cake artist can be forced to create a custom cake that goes against his principles, that would suggest that a Muslim sculptor or painter can be forced to create an image of Mohammad. I wonder what the Colorado Civil Rights Commission would say about that!
“I wonder what the Colorado Civil Rights Commission would say about that!”
They would say, “Yeah-but, but, but….!”(harumph ahem cough)
So long as the civil rights law denies freedom of association in general, instead of just in monopoly markets, no fiction will straighten out this case correctly. It shouldn’t have to rely on religious freedom of freedom of speech.
I think the error is that civil rights laws (like the “public accommodations” rule) was intended to prevent discrimination. Discrimination is reasonably objective—if one bars blacks from one’s restaurant or hotel, or doesn’t hire blacks as workers). The left cleverly expanded the law’s goal to a war on racism—which, being a thing of the heart, requires a vast and intrusive Though Police apparatus PLUS invidious bullying tools like quotas (e.g., I hire minorities but the DC goons determine my workforce composition is not exactly proportionate to the surrounding community). The expansion of civil rights law from specifically racial discrimination to encompass any oddball with a supposed grievance opens the door to infinite leftist oppressions.
If a Satanist required the baker to construct an image of Satan beheading Jesus, would the Supreme Court rule in favor with him?
What’s next, a full grown adult in lip lock with a 10 year old boy?
Isn’t this really all compelled speech?
All of it is compelled speech and association (as rhhardin notes). Most of the civil rights law is in violation of the Bill Of Rights, and escapes demolition solely through the court fiction of “public accommodation”.
He never had a chance to begin with with the communist retards in that State.
Phillips should relent just hand such customers a nasty mess of dripping frosted sludge and say “ Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don’t think I can take it. Cause it took so long to bake it. And I’ll never find that recipe again. Oh no!”
That might work in Los Angeles.
So it is okay to ban conservatives or Christians but you have to bake the cake. The left has no consistency.
The left is absolutely consistent. They desire to overcome and marginalize Christianity. They desire their religion (Progressivism) become entirely ascendant (a goal to which they are terribly close). Note that their virtues (hedonism, transhumanism) are not the same as those in the Constitution (freedom, Christian civilization).
Perhaps the Colorado SC will force Israelis to eat pork. After all, being forced to eat pork is a non-expressive act and is not covered under the First Amendment.
/s. Did I really have to?
Not all Jews, even Israeli Jews, keep kosher, FYI. There’s a wide mix of religious views in Israeli society, from secular to extremely devout.
Our court would force Israelis to eat pork. Because “reasons”. And they would not force Muslims to eat pork in the name of religious freedom.
The judges and regulators in this case all play the “process as punishment” game, stubbornly ignoring the fact that the baker sells non-custom goods to all comers, but refuses to allow his artistic talents to be commandeered to promote messages that go against his moral standards. SCOTUS has only to underscore this important distinction instead of cravenly looking for procedural excuses so as not to have to make it. “Public accommodation laws” were targeted at racial discrimination to prevent industries selling commodity services (restaurant meals, hotel rooms, and the like) from barring black customers. The baker’s policy of selling commodity goods to all falls squarely in line with such laws. His artistic skills, however, are his own. Allowing zealot to serially sue to cram their desired messages into his creation is no different than forcing authors to write “official state policy” or be banned from writing.
Well, if it isn’t expression, then the customer won’t mind if he writes into the frosting (in a shade of blue barely discernible from the rest of the icing) “You’re not really a man”. Right?
If Philips ever goes out of business, what will “progressives” do for cakes? Apparently he’s the only one who knows how to bake one.
The Roman centurions, the Nazi brown shirts, the Maoist Marxists, the DiversityInequityExclusionDistancing (DIED) sects have selected, elected, Planned their “burden”.
This is akin to sending a Muslim trans/bi into a a trans/homo social club.
Akin to sending a human rights activist into a Democrat-oriented Planned Parenthood clinic.
It is last time to start filing charges of conspiracy to commit civil rights violations against these people.
Against which people? The judges have absolute immunity. Who else?
I’d bake it, but I’d use Ex Lax instead of chocolate.