State of Colorado, baker in same-sex wedding case agree to end litigation

State of Colorado, baker in same-sex wedding case agree to end litigation
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The state of Colorado and the man who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple agreed Tuesday to end their litigation in state and federal court.

State Attorney General Phil Weiser, whose office represents the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, announced that the commission and baker Jack Phillips agreed for the state to dismiss its administrative action against Phillips in exchange for Phillips dismissing his federal case against the state.

Phillips and his bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, made national headlines in 2012 after he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. His case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he was handed a partial win.

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In 2018, Colorado again found Phillips had violated state laws after refusing to make a cake for Autumn Scardina to celebrate her gender transition.

The state argued that Phillips denied Scardina service because she is transgender.

In response, Phillips sued the state for punishing him for his religious beliefs.

“After careful consideration of the facts, both sides agreed it was not in anyone’s best interest to move forward with these cases," Weiser said in a statement.

"The larger constitutional issues might well be decided down the road, but these cases will not be the vehicle for resolving them. Equal justice for all will continue to be a core value that we will uphold as we enforce our state’s and nation’s civil rights laws."

The agreement between Phillips and the state will not affect Scardina’s ability to pursue a claim of her own.

The Supreme Court's 7-2 ruling in June on the same-sex case said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had acted with clear and impermissible hostility toward Phillips's sincere religious beliefs when it said he violated the state's public accommodations law by refusing to bake the cake.

The court did not go as far to say that wedding cakes are an artistic expression protected by the First Amendment.