Masterpiece Cakeshop owner calls for second lawsuit from transgender woman to be dismissed

Camile Fine

Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, the baker involved in a Supreme Court case regarding his alleged refusal to design a wedding cake for a gay couple, has asked for a court judge to dismiss another case brought against him, this time by a transgender woman.

In a hearing Thursday, Phillips’s attorneys requested that the Denver court dismiss a lawsuit brought to the District Court for the City and County of Denver by Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman who was allegedly denied service after she tried to order a pink and blue cake to celebrate both her birthday and transition, NBC News reported.

This is the second lawsuit that has been brought to court regarding the incident by Scardina. 

Jake Warner, legal counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group, said Scardina should have “filed at the court of appeals,” but she instead launched a new lawsuit, according to the outlet. 

Warner alleged that the “plaintiff wants to start the case all over and that isn’t fair to Mr. Phillips.” 

“At some point, your honor, this must stop,” he said, as the legal website Courthouse News reported. “Mr. Phillips just wants to get back to his life and make cakes.”

In 2018, Colorado officials reportedly found that Phillips had violated state laws after he refused to make a cake for Scardina. 

Phillips sued the state in response, claiming that the state was punishing him for his religious beliefs, but he and the state of Colorado settled in March of 2018, agreeing not to continue pursuing the case.

Afterward, Scardina decided to open up a second lawsuit in June of last year. 

Paula Greisen, an attorney for Scardina, has alleged that the cake shop is not being “honest with the public” and engaging in deceptive business with Denver customers. 

“The dignity of all citizens in our state needs to be honored,” Greisen said in a statement when the case was originally filed last year. “Masterpiece Cakeshop said before the Supreme Court they would serve any baked good to members of the LGBTQ community. It was just the religious significance of it being a wedding cake.”

The Denver court has not confirmed whether it will dismiss Scardina’s case, NBC News reported. 

The Supreme Court in 2018 voted 7-2 that the commission violated Phillips’s First Amendment rights over his refusal to bake a cake for a gay couple. It did not issue a broader ruling on religious objections to refuse service over sexuality.

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