Masterpiece Cakeshop owner sues Hickenlooper, Colorado Civil Rights Commission

DENVER -- Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop who won a landmark Supreme Court decision after refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, has sued Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, claiming the state has renewed its religious persecution against him.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday night in Denver U.S. District Court, Phillips' attorneys allege the state has renewed its religious persecution by investigating the Lakewood baker despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

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The court ruled in June that Phillips did not violate the state's anti-discrimination law for refusing to make the wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins in 2012.

In 2014, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that Phillips' refusal was discriminatory.

Phillips appealed and the case made its way through appeals courts for several years until a hearing in front of the nine Supreme Court justices in December.

"The commission's hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment's guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the 7-2 ruling in June.

According to the new lawsuit, on the same day as the Supreme Court decision, an attorney asked Phillips to create a cake designed pink on the inside and blue on the outside as a way to celebrate a gender transition from male to female.

Phillips declined the request because the cake would have expressed messages about sex and gender identity that conflict with his religious beliefs, according to Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Phillips.

Less than a month later, the state found probable cause to believe state law requires Phillips to create the requested gender-transition cake.

"The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” said ADF senior vice president of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner said.

“Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him -- something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.

"Neither Jack nor any other creative professionals should be targeted by the government for living consistently with their religious beliefs.”

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