Baker who refused to make a gay wedding cake back in court

Gay cake
Jack Phillips, who runs the Masterpiece cake shop, doesn't believe in homosexuality. Photo credit: Getty

A baker who won a US Supreme Court battle over his refusal to bake a gay wedding-themed cake is again in the headlines, this time for turning down a request to make a transgender-themed treat.

Jack Phillips, who runs the Masterpiece cake shop in Denver, Colorado, was asked by Autumn Scardina, a transgender lawyer, to bake a cake blue on the outside and pink in the middle, reports Buzzfeed News.

"They asked what I wanted the cake to look like, and I explained I was celebrating my birthday on July 6, 2017, and that it would also be the 7th year of my transition from male to female," Ms Scardina said in her complaint, filed last year on the same day the gay wedding cake case reached the United States' highest court.

"When I explained I am a transexual and that I wanted my birthday cake to celebrate my transition by having a blue exterior and a pink interior, they told me they will not make the cake based on their religious beliefs."

Her case has now reached the district court, with the backing of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Earlier this week Mr Phillips' lawyers said the pink and blue cake " would have celebrated messages contrary to his religious belief that sex - the status of being male or female - is given by God, is biologically determined, is not determined by perceptions or feelings, and cannot be chosen or changed".

Mr Phillips has launched his own legal action against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, as well as the state's Governor and attorney-general.

"For over six years now, Colorado has been on a crusade to crush Plaintiff Jack Phillips because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith," his own complaint reads.

He believes LBGT activists have become "emboldened by the state's persecution", and are now targeting him.

Jack Phillips.
Jack Phillips. Photo credit: Getty

In June, the US Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Colorado Civil Rights Division that Mr Phillips should have baked the gay cake, ordering him to go to anti-discrimination training.

Rather than make gay wedding cakes, Mr Phillips decided to stop making custom cakes altogether, until the Supreme Court ruled in his favour, saying he had rights under the first amendment of the US constitution to freedom of expression, and didn't have to bake a cake with a message he disagreed with.

The court however did not say whether he could refuse to serve LGBT couples altogether, which is unambiguously a breach of Colorado state law.

Mr Phillips told the New York Times he'd make them "birthday cakes, shower cakes, cookies, brownies", but "can't make a cake for a same-sex wedding".

"I have no problem serving anybody - gay, straight, Muslim, Hindu. Everybody that comes in my door is welcome here, and any of the products I normally sell I'm glad to sell to anybody."

The gay couple didn't buy that, telling the New York Times he just didn't want to serve them because they were gay.