A leopard can’t change its spots, and Jack Phillips, the confectioner who made headlines for refusing to make a cake for LGBT+ customers and endorse that nonexistent thing called LGBT+ “marriage” by making ad hoc “wedding” cakes; and who later won in the Supreme Court; has been caught in the middle again by a judge.
A. Bruce Jones, a district court judge in Denver, Colorado, fined Phillips $500 for violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.
Autumn Charlie Scardina, registered in Colorado as female Democratic Party voter, is in the legal profession. A lawyer (divorce attorney), practicing in Denver, she is transgender, and one day she asked Phillips’ bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, to make her a cake that was pink on the inside and covered in blue frosting to celebrate her own “transition birthday”, the day she transitioned from male to female. And she didn’t do it on a random day: she did it on June 26, 2017, the day the federal Supreme Court in Washington decided to take up Phillips’ gay “wedding” cake case.
Now only someone who has lived under a rock for the past several years would not know that Phillips is a practicing Christian and opposes LGBT+ “marriage” because of his religious beliefs. In the USA this is called religious freedom and is protected by the federal Constitution. That’s why in June 2018 Phillips won.
Now, however, Judge Jones is saying Phillips can’t refuse to serve Scardina’s ideology because religious freedom has nothing to do with it here. After all, the Colorado State Civil Rights Commission had already sued Phillips, but dropped it in March 2019. At the time, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said both sides noted they had no interest in proceeding further. Not content with that, Scardina continued on her own until today’s epilogue. And in the meantime it also happened that an unidentified person (but perhaps known to Scardina) asked Phillips via e-mail for sweets to celebrate Satan in a blasphemous and pornographic way.
How can one claim that in the “Scardina case” religious freedom has nothing to do with it? If Phillips cannot agree to celebrate “sex transition” or “gender transition,” just as he cannot agree to celebrate LGBT+ “marriage” because his moral code, based on a specific religious worldview, prevents him from doing so, he is protected under the US federal Constitution. The same is true if Phillips refused, as he has done in the past, to celebrate Halloween or Satan. One may disagree with Phillips on the level of belief, but he is fully entitled in law to do so. In the USA, the defense of religious freedom is the source of the freedom of expression and assembly.
Even if Phillips were not a practicing Christian, his ethical (or perhaps philosophical) opposition to the celebration of an ideological, as well as provocative, gesture would be equally protected. Because that’s the beauty of freedom: you can’t force a person to do something they do not want to do. And Jack is clearly convinced of this; he is appealing Judge Jones’ decision.