Attorneys for Colorado baker Jack Phillips asked a court Monday to dismiss a lawsuit seeking $100,000 over his refusal to create a transgender-birthday cake, arguing that the Christian cakeshop owner “has suffered enough.”
The motion filed in state court in Denver pointed out that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission dropped earlier this year Autumn Scardina’s complaint against Mr. Phillips, who won a Supreme Court decision last year over his refusal to create a cake for a same-sex marriage.
“The state’s past prosecutions generated death threats and vandalism and cost Phillips seven years of his life, 40% of his family income, and most of his employees — harms that endure even though he eventually won his legal fights,” said the motion filed by attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom.
This time, however, the “potential toll is greater.”
“Unlike past prosecutions, more money is on the line: Scardina seeks more than $100,000, plus attorney fees,” said the filing. “This crusade against Phillips and his faith should stop once and for all.”
Ms. Scardina, a lawyer, sued Mr. Phillips last month over his refusal to create a blue-on-the-outside, pink-on-the-inside to celebrate her transition from male to female, saying he discriminated against her for being transgender.
“It was only upon learning of her status as a transgender woman that Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to sell her a birthday cake,” said the lawsuit.
Ms. Scardina also accused Mr. Phillips of violating the Colorado Consumer Protection Act by saying he would serve all customers but not create messages with which he disagrees.
In the motion to dismiss, attorneys for Mr. Phillips argued that he refused to create the cake because he disagreed with its message based on his Christian beliefs.
“The decision was not because of the person who requested it,” said ADF in a press release. “Phillips would not create a cake expressing the requested message no matter who asked for it.”
The alliance cited statements made by Ms. Scardina in her CCRC complaint, including, “I requested that its color and theme celebrate my transition from male to female,” and “I wanted my birthday cake to celebrate my transition by having a blue exterior and a pink interior.”
Ms. Scardina called to order the cake from Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, on June 26, 2017, the same day the Supreme Court agreed to hear the wedding-cake case.
“After losing in court, the state was content to leave Phillips alone to do just that,” said the motion. “But Scardina won’t allow it. Phillips requests that the Court dismiss the complaint so that he can return to the life he had before the state and Scardina targeted him and his faith.”