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Colorado Baker Who Refused To Bake Same-Sex Wedding Cake Now Refusing Trans Woman's Order

Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Perhaps you've heard of Masterpiece Cakeshop.

It's a small cake shop in Lakewood, Colorado, a suburb on the outskirts of Denver. Owner Jack Phillips creates meticulous, custom-made cakes for all sorts of celebrations.

But as the website says, Phillips doesn't make cakes for everyone.

"Masterpiece Cakeshop will happily create custom cakes for anyone. But like many cake artists, Jack cannot create all custom cakes."
"He cannot create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events that conflict with his religious beliefs."

In 2018, that closing caveat embroiled Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop in a nationally covered Supreme Court case, after he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Although the Colorado Civil Rights Commission sided with the couple and ruled Phillips had unlawfully discriminated against the couple based on their sexuality, the case eventually wound up at the highest court in the land.

The US Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, ruled that Phillips was indeed acting lawfully when he refused his service to the couple. Justice Kennedy, who wrote the opinion, teased out a very fine line:

"The first is the authority of a State and its governmental entities to protect the rights and dignity of gay persons who are, or wish to be, married but who face discrimination when they seek goods or services."
"The second is the right of all persons to exercise fundamental freedoms under the First Amendment. When the Colorado Civil Rights Commission considered this case, it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires."

But now, Phillips has found himself enmeshed in legal controversy all over again, this time because he refused to make a cake for a transgender person who planned to celebrate her transition.

Autumn Scardina, who hoped to order a cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside, filed a complaint with Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The Commission ruled that Phillips had indeed discriminated against her.

In addition, Scardina sued Phillips.

So on Monday, in a virtual hearing before a Colorado state judge, Scardina explained her experience with Phillips, ABC News reported.

Scardina told the court she originally called Phillips before making the order at all, at which point he said he only refused the gay couple's cake because it was to be involved in a religious ceremony, but that he'd make any other cake.

So Scardina called again later on, and asked for her gender transition-themed cake.

Phillips refused to make it.

In defense of Phillips, his attorney, Sean Gates, raised similar arguments to those he made before the Supreme Court two years ago.

Gates stated that Phillips' refusal to make the cake was not an act of discrimination against Scardina specifically. Rather, that Phillips refused to make a cake that expressed a message he did not want to express:

"The message would be that he agrees that a gender transition is something to be celebrated."

Phillips has also filed suit against the state of Colorado, who he has accused of waging a "crusade to crush him," according to KOB 4.

Plenty of people were upset to hear Phillips' views were rattling cages again.

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But others were skeptical—and exasperated—by people's continued involvement with the guy.

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Regardless, one thing is clear. With this case only just beginning, it looks like Phillips will have to get used to navigating legal proceedings at the same time he runs his custom bakeshop.