Baker Jack Phillips lost in a Colorado district court Tuesday in a case that challenged his legal right to refuse to create a custom cake for a customer celebrating their birthday and transgender transition, according to court documents.
The court case, Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop, alleged that Phillips unlawfully refused service when she asked if the bakery could make a custom cake for her birthday and “elaborated that she wanted a birthday cake with a pink interior and a blue exterior” and “explained that the design was a reflection” of her “transition from male-to-female,” to which Phillips said the requested cake “isn’t a cake we could make,” according to court documents. (RELATED: Masterpiece Cakeshop Sued Again— This Time Over A Transgender Cake)
Texas Senator Ted Cruz took to Twitter to condemn the court decision and referred to it as “religious persecution.”
Shameful. This is religious persecution. Naked & unabashed.
“Jack Phillips serves all people but shouldn’t be forced to create custom cakes with messages that violate his conscience” the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) General Counsel, Kristen Waggoner wrote in a statement. “In this case, an activist attorney demanded Jack create custom cakes in order to ‘test’ Jack and ‘correct the errors’ of his thinking, and the activist even threatened to sue Jack again if the case is dismissed for any reason.”
Phillips has gone to court before in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission for refusing to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple, in which the Supreme Court ruled in his favor. Phillips and the ADF say they plan to appeal Tuesday’s decision, according to ADF’s statement.
“This case and others—including the case of floral artist Barronelle Stutzman, whose petition is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court—represents a disturbing trend: the weaponization of our justice system to ruin those with whom the activists disagree,” Waggoner said.
“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,” Waggoner said. “We will appeal this decision and continue to defend the freedom of all Americans to peacefully live and work according to their deeply held beliefs without fear of punishment.”