The Colorado baker said he didn't believe people could change their gender and refused to bake the cake citing its message.
The Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a transgender woman has been fined $500 for violating the state's anti-discrimination law, ruled a state judge. Jack Phillips, the baker, had won a partial victory at the US Supreme Court in 2018 for refusing to make the wedding cake for a same-sex couple, reported NPR. Phillips said he didn't believe people could change their gender and refused to bake the cake citing its message. Denver District Judge A. Bruce Jones said Jack Phillips violated the law when Autumn Scardina, a trans woman was denied a cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside to celebrate her gender transition on her birthday. Phillips had testified during the trial that he didn't want to celebrate "somebody who thinks that they can" change their gender.
The judge said the case pertained to the baker's refusal to sell a product, and not compelled speech. "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,'" wrote Jones. Phillips was slapped with $500, which is the maximum fine for each violation of Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act. It's unclear if the fine was for the two attempts that Scardina made to order the cake or just one.
"This case started the day the Supreme Court decided they were going to hear our case. It was a very busy, very crazy day at the shop," Phillips told Fox News exclusively in March. "In the middle of all of this chaos, we got a phone call from an attorney in Denver asking us to create a cake pink on the inside with blue icing on the outside." Phillips told the customer that he couldn't make the cake because of the message. "This customer came to us intentionally to get us to create a cake or deny creating a cake that went against our religious beliefs,"said Phillips, before adding that it was a trap. “It was very obvious that it wasn't about the cake," said Scardina, according to Them. It was about who I was as a person and how that would impact their decision on whether or not they would serve me.”
Alliance Defending Freedom, a group that represents Phillips, said they would appeal the ruling. “Jack Phillips serves all people but shouldn’t be forced to create custom cakes with messages that violate his conscience,” said attorney Kristen Waggoner of Alliance Defending Freedom in a statement. "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," said the group's general counsel, Kristen Waggoner, in a statement.
The judge ruled that the bakery was willing to serve Scardina until it became aware that she is a transgender woman. Judge Bruce Jones said it was the equivalent of a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ rule. “LGBT individuals would be entitled to equal service only to the extent they do not request goods that reflect their identity as LGBT individuals (or at least do not inform Defendants of that reflection),” he wrote.
Scardina, who's an attorney, placed an order for a cake with Phillips' bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, on the day the Supreme Court announced it would hear Phillips' appeal against making the wedding cake for the same-sex couple, in 2017. Scardina said her attempt to get a cake was not a "set up" but she wanted to "challenge the veracity" of Baker's statement that he would serve LGBT customers. John McHugh, one of attorney's representing Scardina said the case about how a section of the community was discriminated against. "This is about a business that is open to the public that simply says to an entire class of people in the community that your identity, who you are, is something that is objectional," he said. Autumn Scardina is a personal injury, divorce lawyer based in Denver, Colorado.