Colorado baker loses appeal after refusing to make transgender reveal cake

Jack Phillips
Posted at 2:30 PM, Jan 27, 2023

The Colorado baker who won a partial Supreme Court victory after refusing on religious grounds to make a gay couple's wedding cake a decade ago lost his latest legal fight.

Jack Phillips challenged Colorado's anti-discrimination law after refusing to make a cake celebrating a gender transition.

A lawyer for Jack Phillips urged Colorado's appeals court — largely on procedural grounds — to overturn a 2021 ruling in a lawsuit brought by a transgender woman.

The controversy began in 2017 when Autumn Scardina, called Phillips' cake shop requesting a birthday cake that had blue frosting on the outside and was pink inside.

During the trial, Phillips, a Christian, testified he did not think someone could change genders and he would not celebrate “somebody who thinks that they can.”

However, the appeals court didn't believe that was a good enough reason to refuse to make the cake.

“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, according to The Associated Press.

Phillips is reportedly planning to appeal the ruling.

In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had acted with anti-religious bias in enforcing the anti-discrimination law against Phillips after he refused to bake a cake celebrating the wedding of Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins in 2012. The justices called the commission unfairly dismissive of Phillips’ religious beliefs.

The high court did not rule then on the larger issue of whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to LGBTQ people.