A Colorado baker who won a partial U.S. Supreme Court victory in a case where he refused to make a cake for a gay wedding lost an appeal in another legal fight in which he rejected a request for a birthday cake celebrating a gender transition.
The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that the refusal by Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop to make a cake requested by Autumn Scardina did not constitute free speech. The court also found it was illegal to refuse to provide services to people based on characteristics like race, religion, or sexual orientation.
“We conclude that creating a pink cake with blue frosting is not inherently expressive and any message or symbolism it provides to an observer would not be attributed to the baker,” said the court, which also rejected procedural arguments from Phillips.
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The cake shop initially agree to make the cake but then refused after Scardina explained it was going to be used to celebrate her transition from male to female, the court found.
Phillips said the cakes he makes are a form of free speech and plans to appeal the ruling.
“One need not agree with Jack’s views to agree that all Americans should be free to say what they believe, even if the government disagrees with those beliefs,” Jake Warner, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented Phillips, said in a statement.
John McHugh, one of the lawyers who represent Scardina, said Phillips objected to making the cake because he objected “to the idea of Ms. Scardina wanting a birthday cake that reflects her status as a transgender woman because they object to the existence of transgender people.”
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Phillips previously won a case before the Supreme Court in 2018 after refusing to make a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
“This case started the day the Supreme Court decided they were going to hear our case. It was a very busy, very crazy day at the shop,” Phillips told Fox News exclusively in March. “In the middle of all of this chaos, we got a phone call from an attorney in Denver asking us to create a cake pink on the inside with blue icing on the outside.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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