A Colorado federal district court has ruled favorably for the cake artist who filled for a lawsuit against the state for what he considers religious persecution after he was sued for his refusal to serve the LGTB community.
On January 4, the legal battle between cake artist Jack Phillips and the state of Colorado took an interesting turn when the court described the state as hostile towards the Christian baker, allowing him to sue for discrimination.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), in representation of Phillips, has scored a point in its struggle to guarantee the baker his right to act in accordance to his religious beliefs when doing his job.
This is the second time the Colorado Civil Rights Commission tries to use the law to require Phillips to go against his faith to fulfill the request of a member of the LGTB community. Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa
The first case made it to the Supreme Court in June 2018, when the institution considered that the commission “violated the Free Exercise Clause” when it put the rights of others above Phillips religious freedom.
In that occasion, Phillips entered into a conflict with the Civil Rights Commission over his refusal to design a customized wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage between Charlie Craig and David Mullins.
Although the US Supreme Court took Phillips’ side in the first case, the baker was sued a second time by transgender woman Autumn Scardina, who ordered a cake in his establishment to celebrate the anniversary of her gender transition.
Phillips and his defense team considered this a wrongful prosecution and in turn sued the Civil Rights Commission for violating his religious beliefs, with the approval of a federal judge.
ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell agreed with the decision and cited Phillips customer service at his Masterpiece Cakeshop, which includes refusals to design cakes with themes in conflict with the Christian faith, not necessarily related with sexuality, but also with drug use, Satanism, Halloween, and racism.
"The same agency that the Supreme Court rebuked as hostile to Jack Phillips has remained committed to treating him unequally and forcing him to express messages that violate his religious beliefs. Colorado is acting in bad faith and with bias toward Jack."
-Jim Campbell, CBN News, January 7, 2019.
Meanwhile, One Colorado, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization has a different view on Phillips lawsuit, which according to them would be legalizing discrimination.
“All people — including LGBTQ people — deserve to be served equally in public spaces, and no religious belief gives anyone the right to pick and choose whom they serve and what laws they want to follow,” One Colorado’s executive director said previously.
As Western society increasingly grants the LGBT community with equal rights and protection against discrimination, religious conservatism has doubled its efforts to prevent LGBT individuals to be seen as any other regular citizens.
Baptist pastor Donnie Romero became known in the US for his homophobic sermons after he called gay people the “scum of the earth” and celebrated the mass killing of gay people in Orlando in 2016.
Two years after Romero likened LGBT people to pedophiles, he has admitted to presenting improper moral behavior in a resignation sermon where “being with prostitutes” and “marijuana and gambling” were mentioned.
“I have not been ruling my house well. I’m the one at fault in this situation. I love Stedfast Baptist Church. I love my family. This is the best decision for my family and this church to make,” Romero said of his departure from the church.
As human civilization evolves toward a more secular one, with laws attempting for governments to be religiously neutral, some believers are feeling that they are losing their capacity to act accordingly to their faith in the public sphere.
Jeremy Morris, from Idaho, entered into a legal conflict with his homeowner's association after he moved to a new community where his impressive Christmas display and holiday activities were not well received.
After a 4-year battle, Morris was deemed a victim of religious discrimination from the Homeowners Association and was awarded $75.000 in damages, but that didn’t save him from being forced to move from the community.
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