Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Colorado Court Slaps Baker With Fine for Refusing To Make Gender Transition Cake

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason

Another cake controversy out of Colorado. The baker at the center of a 2018 Supreme Court case concerning religious freedom, same-sex marriage, and civil rights is back in court over his refusal to serve up another cake. This time, the controversial cake was requested by a transgender woman in celebration of her gender transitioning.

Once again, Masterpiece Cakeshop’s Jack Phillips said making the requested cake would go against his morals. And, once again, the state isn’t having it…potentially setting up another prolonged showdown pitting religious liberty and freedom of expression against the application of statutes aimed at protecting LGBTQ rights.

In the last case—Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission—the Supreme Court ruled 7–2 that Colorado was wrong to fine Phillips for refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The couple argued that this violated anti-discrimination law. Phillips said it didn’t, since he would sell regular baked goods to gay people with no problem—just not a wedding cake, as same-sex marriage was against his religious beliefs. Phillips argued that compelling him to participate in a gay couple’s marriage ceremony by baking a cake for the occasion violated his freedom of speech and religious liberty.


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