You would think, after getting a judicial smackdown at the nation’s highest court earlier this year, that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission would leave poor Jack Phillips alone. But since the Supreme Court’s ruling was unnecessarily and inappropriately narrow, the CCRC saw an opportunity to get it “right” this time and punish the Christian baker for his refusal to bake cakes for gay weddings and other LGBT celebrations. Now the Phillips is suing the commission over what he deems unfair and unconstitutional harassment.
From the AP:
Attorneys for a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple on religious grounds — a stand partially upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court — argued in federal court Tuesday that the state is punishing him again over his refusal to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition.
Lawyers for Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, are suing to try to stop the state from taking action against him over the new discrimination allegation. They say the state is treating Phillips with hostility because of his Christian faith and pressing a complaint that they call an “obvious setup.”
“At this point, he’s just a guy who is trying to get back to life. The problem is the state of Colorado won’t let him,” Jim Campbell, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said after the hearing. The conservative Christian nonprofit law firm is representing Phillips.
State officials argued for the case to be dismissed, but the judge said he was inclined to let the case move forward and would issue a written ruling later.
To say this has gone on long enough would be an understatement, but this is the situation the Supreme Court left open when it refused to come to an unqualified First Amendment decision. Instead, the Court merely ruled that the Colorado commission showed “anti-religious bias” in some of the language used to penalize Phillips for his actions. That let Phillips off the hook, but it did nothing whatsoever to solve the central issue: Does a business owner have to bow to the whims of the gay/transgender community every time they want a special product? Or does a business owner have the right to conduct his business in line with his conscience and religious beliefs?
We say the answer is beyond obvious. Phillips never refused service to a gay or transgender customer. He merely refused to make specific products for specific occasions, which MUST be his right as an American citizen protected under the First Amendment. There is no anti-discrimination law protecting EVENTS like gay weddings and gender transitions. To say otherwise is to be a legal idiot or a moral coward.
Phillips deserves to win his lawsuit, and win it big-time. These overzealous government organizations like the CCRC need to be put in their place.