Jack Phillips doesn’t belong in a courtroom. He belongs at the counter of Masterpiece Cakeshop, creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind cakes for his customers.
But, for nearly seven years now, he has been pulled away from his work in order to fight for his right to live according to his faith.
Through it all, he has endured the spotlight of the national media. He has lost a huge portion of his business and has had to let several employees go. He has received hateful phone calls, letters, and even death threats.
After two wins—including one at the U.S. Supreme Court—you would think it would all be over. It should all be over.
Unfortunately, yet another lawsuit has been filed against Jack.
It all started in 2012, when two men walked into Jack’s shop and asked him to design a custom cake celebrating a same-sex marriage. Because Jack is a Christian and believes that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, he politely declined. He explained that he would be happy to sell them anything prepared in his store, but he could not use his artistic talents to celebrate an event that violates his faith.
Still, the men filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The commission ruled against Jack, claiming that Colorado law requires Jack to design custom cakes celebrating same-sex marriage if he designs cakes celebrate marriage between a man and a woman. Because of this, Jack was forced out of the wedding industry, which cost him 40 percent of his business.
Then, last year, Jack won at the United States Supreme Court. In a 7-to-2 decision, the Court rebuked the Colorado for its “clear and impermissible” hostility towards Jack’s religious beliefs.
That should have been the end of it.
Then the state came after Jack a second time.
The very day that the Supreme Court decided to hear Jack’s first case, a local attorney asked Jack’s shop to design a custom pink-and-blue cake to celebrate that attorney’s gender transition from male to female. The attorney specifically said that the cake’s design would celebrate and reflect a gender transition.
Jack serves everyone but, just as before, he couldn’t create a cake expressing the message that the attorney requested because it conflicts with his religious beliefs. Not to mention that Jack has never created a cake expressing that message for anyone.
But even so, just weeks after losing at the Supreme Court, Colorado used this claim to go after Jack a second time.
It was clear that the state was still hostile to Jack’s religious beliefs. So Alliance Defending Freedom took action and filed a lawsuit against it in federal court.
And in March, Colorado decided to dismiss its case against Jack—a huge win! With the end of this latest lawsuit, Jack thought he could finally go back to focusing on his work.
But that was too good to be true.
Now, the same attorney who filed the second complaint has now filed a lawsuit against Jack in state court. This latest lawsuit seeks money damages and attorney’s fees from Jack. If successful, it could bring about Jack’s and his family’s financial ruin.
But that shouldn’t happen because Jack serves all people; he just can’t express every message or celebrate every event that is asked of him.
And he shouldn’t be forced to.
No American should be bullied or banished from the marketplace simply for living and working consistently with their faith. But this new lawsuit threatens just that.
All Jack wants to do is go back to his business. He has already had to fight for his religious freedom in court twice. When will it end?
Please join us in praying for Jack as he continues to stand strong for religious freedom.
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