Colorado baker Jack Phillips has won his second battle with the state of Colorado after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission on Tuesday agreed to drop their case against the Christian baker or refusing to bake a cake for a transgender celebration, as long as Phillips also agreed to drop his lawsuit against the state for religious targeting.
The agreement marks a major win for the Msterpiece Cakeshop owner, who’d already won his case before the U.S. Supreme Court last year after Colorado accused him of illegal discrimination for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony. In their ruling, the Supreme Court determined Colorado had displayed unconstitutional, anti-religious bias against Phillips.
As I’ve reported here before, Phillips was again targeted – on the very day he won his SCOTUS battle, no less – by a transgender attorney who demanded he bake a cake celebrating the attorney’s gender “transition" from male to female.
As expected, Phillips refused. And, as expected, the state's civil rights commission fought back, filing yet another complaint against Phillips for unlawful discrimination.
In turn, with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, Phillips sued the state right back, alleging the state was continuing to unfairly target him and his business because of his Christian faith. After the state moved to have Phillip’s suit dismissed, it took a federal court ruling to allow the case to move forward.
On Tuesday, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Christian baker Jack Phillips had agreed to drop both lawsuits as evidence mounted against the state showing a pretty extreme anti-religious bias by the state’s Civil Rights Commission. According to PJ Media:
One commissioner called Jack Phillips a "cake hater" on Twitter in 2013. Last week, attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the law firm representing Phillips, uncovered statements from a June 2018 public meeting in which commissioners expressed their support for anti-religious comments that a previous commissioner, Diann Rice, made in 2015.
"I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing … in the last meeting [about Jack Phillips]: Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust, whether it be… I mean, we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination, and to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use, to use their religion to hurt others," Rice said at the time.
On top of that, other commissioners openly defended Rice’s comments at a meeting on June 22, 2018.
Phillips’ attorneys had also alleged a conflict of interest in the case, pointing out that the same Colorado Civil Rights Commission responsible for bringing the original discrimination complaint against Phillips was also the same governing body that would have determined whether he was actually guilty of breaking the law.
While the transgender attorney may still push forward in court with a legal battle of his own, it looks like for now, Phillips has managed to push back his governmental aggressors at least one more time...
...not that that should make Colorado Christians feel much better.