ADF: Court should end latest harassment of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner over his beliefs
WHO: Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner, ADF Legal Counsel Jake Warner
WHAT: Media briefing following oral arguments in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop
WHEN: Thursday, April 9, 2 p.m. MDT (5 p.m. EDT)
WHERE: Online, or call (425) 440-5100. Conference PIN: 356719#
DENVER – Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips will join Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys on a media briefing call following oral arguments in state trial court Thursday in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop. The hearing concerns a motion ADF attorneys filed last year asking the court to dismiss the latest legal attack against Phillips and his shop for declining to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his faith.
The same attorney who filed an unsuccessful complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2017 commenced the lawsuit over the same custom cake request. The commission filed charges against Phillips but abandoned the claim in the wake of more evidence of the state’s hostility toward religious freedom—hostility that the U.S. Supreme Court had first condemned in a separate lawsuit that began years earlier but that Phillips won in 2018. Instead of appealing the commission’s decision to drop its action on the 2017 complaint, the attorney filed a new lawsuit in state court that seeks monetary damages of more than $100,000 against Phillips in addition to legal fees.
“It’s time to move on and leave Jack alone. This new lawsuit is nothing more than an activist’s attempt to harass and ruin Jack because he won’t create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his conscience,” said ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner, who argued on behalf of Phillips before the U.S. Supreme Court. “Jack’s victory at the Supreme Court was great news for everyone. Tolerance for good-faith differences of opinion is essential and the only way for diverse people with differing views to peacefully coexist.”
“This attorney’s relentless pursuit of Jack was an obvious attempt to punish him for his views, banish him from the marketplace, and financially ruin him and his shop,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jake Warner, who will argue before the state court Thursday. “For these reasons and others, we are asking the court to dismiss this case.”
The request was for a custom-designed cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside, to reflect and celebrate a gender transition. Phillips’ shop declined that request because the customer specifically requested that the cake express messages and celebrate an event in conflict with Phillips’ religious beliefs. The decision was not because of the person who requested it. Phillips would not create a cake expressing the requested message no matter who asked for it.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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