Hickenlooper says ‘no vendetta’ as baker sues governor, civil rights commission

DENVER -- Jack Phillips is in a legal battle again with the state of Colorado over a refusal to bake a cake. This time it involves a transgender woman.

In 2012, Phillips said no to a same sex couple's request for a wedding cake -- sparking a landmark Supreme Court case that was decided earlier this year.

"The same Civil Rights Commission that went after me the first time is coming after me again," Phillips said.

Phillips' lawyers, the Alliance Defending Freedom, filed a lawsuit earlier this week with the hopes of a federal injunction in the coming weeks.

Phillips believes the Supreme Court ruling in June allowed him to say no to anyone -- including transgender individuals -- if it goes against his faith.

"The United States Supreme Court said they can't be hostile to my faith," Phillips said. "I believe God made male and females and the Bible says clearly we don't get to chose we don't get to change and I don't want to celebrate someone who thinks they can."

Many in the legal community disagree with Phillips, arguing the Supreme Court ruled narrowly, not giving Phillips the ability to say no to anyone he chooses.

"The court said it's important for states to have non discrimination laws," said Daniel Ramos, executive director of One Colorado, an LGBTQ advocacy group. "In that way he couldn't deny or shouldn't have denied a transgender woman."

The transgender woman who filed the complaint is identified as Autumn Scardina, an area attorney.

Scardina did not respond to requests for an interview Wednesday at her home or law office.

According to state paperwork, Scardina requested her cake the same day the Supreme Court agreed to hear the same-sex wedding cake case.

On Wednesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is named in the Phillips lawsuit, spoke to the controversy.

"Certainly I can't imagine we have a vendetta against anyone," Hickenlooper said. "But it seems to me you shouldn't be able to withhold your services or products from someone else based on their religion."

This case seems to be different in that so far the ACLU or One Colorado is not involved on behalf of Scardina.

AlertMe