Health

A baker was fined after he refused to make a cake for a transgender person to celebrate her transition

Summary List PlacementJack Phillips, a baker from Colorado, will be fined $500 by Denver District Judge A. Bruce Jones after he refused service to a transgender customer.  The Associated Press reported Phillips turned away Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman, after she requested a birthday cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside to celebrate her transition at his bakery Masterpiece Cakeshop.  Jones ruled Phillips violated Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act, which can be charged with a maximum fine of $500 for infractions.  "The anti-discrimination laws are intended to ensure that members of our society who have historically been treated unfairly,...

Baker Jack Phillips speaks with the media following oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., December 5, 2017.

Summary List Placement

Jack Phillips, a baker from Colorado, will be fined $500 by Denver District Judge A. Bruce Jones after he refused service to a transgender customer. 

The Associated Press reported Phillips turned away Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman, after she requested a birthday cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside to celebrate her transition at his bakery Masterpiece Cakeshop. 

Jones ruled Phillips violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, which can be charged with a maximum fine of $500 for infractions. 

“The anti-discrimination laws are intended to ensure that members of our society who have historically been treated unfairly, who have been deprived of even the every-day right to access businesses to buy products, are no longer treated as ‘others,'” Jones wrote in his decision. 

According to Alliance Defending Freedom, the group representing Phillips, fining him is a violation of his First Amendment rights. In his court hearing, Phillips argued he does not believe people that people can transition — a statement that contradicts the overwhelming medical consensus supporting gender-affirming transition care.

This is not the first time Phillips has refused service to queer or trans people. 

In 2012, Phillips refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, stating it was a violation of his religious beliefs. The court case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. the Colorado Civil Rights Commission made it to the US Supreme Court in 2017.

The court ruled 7-2 that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated Phillips’ free expression of his religion by fining him for refusing service to the couple. 

The Alliance Defending Freedom stated they will appeal the most recent fine against Phillips. 

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