Why is Alabama Attorney General Involved in Colorado Baker’s Trial?

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Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall joined 15 other attorneys general in supporting a Colorado pastry owner who was sued for refusing to create a cake to celebrate the gender transition of a customer.

Jack Phillips and his wife own and operate the Masterpiece Cakeshop. Phillips gained national attention in another case that began in 2012 when he told a same-sex couple that he would not create a cake to celebrate their marriage because he was a devout Christian who was opposed same-sex marriage.

The couple filed a complaint that Phillips violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Phillips lost this case in state court, but ultimately won. The United States Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that requiring Phillips to create the cake under state law would violate his right to the free exercise of his religion.

In 2017, while this case was still pending, Autumn Scardina called Masterpiece Cakeshop to request a personalized birthday cake that symbolized her transition from male to female. Scardina requested a cake with a blue exterior and a pink interior.

Phillips declined to bake a cake to celebrate Scardina’s gender transition, claiming that due to his religious beliefs he doesn’t believe a person can change their gender.

Scardina filed a lawsuit in state court, claiming Phillips was violating CADA. The Denver County District Court ruled in his favor. Phillips appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich wrote a brief supporting Phillips’ right to refuse to create the cake because of his religious beliefs. Marshall and the attorneys general of 14 other states have signed in favor of the position.

“Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips has strong religious beliefs against gender transition as well as same-sex marriage,” Marshall said in a press release. “The small business owner doesn’t refuse to serve same-sex or transgender clients, but he opposes using his art to support a message contrary to his religion, regardless of the client. Those who might be uncomfortable with her decision should consider whether, in the alternative, an artist might be forced to endorse a message attacking homosexuality or gender transitions.

“America’s promise of freedom does not depend on the whims of what may or may not be considered politically correct. We are bound by the Constitution of the United States to protect the freedom of speech and the religious rights of Mr. Phillips and all of our citizens.

Read the court brief.


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