"Colorado just seems to be looking for opportunities to punish me for my faith." – Jack Phillips
You may recognize Jack Phillips. He’s the Colorado cake artist who was at the center of one of the year’s most-talked-about U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Although Jack won an important victory, the State of Colorado didn’t get the message. It is targeting him again!
How did this happen?
For six years, Jack suffered. He faced threats and government punishment simply because he runs his business according to his faith. Jack declined a request to create a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage.
Jack explained that he would be happy to design a cake for the customers for a different event, or sell them anything else in his shop. But he just could not create a cake expressing messages and celebrating an event that conflicted with his deeply held religious beliefs about marriage. Still, the couple filed a complaint, and the State of Colorado punished Jack for living in accordance with his faith.*****
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court finally gave Jack justice when it handed down its decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Jack won in a 7-2 ruling that upheld his religious freedom.
On the very day that the Supreme Court decided to hear Jack’s case in June of 2017, an attorney called Jack’s shop asking for a custom cake. The attorney wanted a cake that would be blue on the outside and pink on the inside in order to celebrate that attorney’s transition from male to female.
When Jack declined this request, the attorney filed a complaint with the same Colorado agency that prosecuted Jack before. The agency did not take a position on this complaint while the Masterpiece case was pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. But less than one month after the Supreme Court condemned the state’s anti-religious hostility toward Jack in the first case, the state agency made its first finding against Jack in this new case. Obviously not getting the Supreme Court’s message the first time, the state decided to target Jack again.