Lakewood baker back in court over 2nd LGBTQ bias allegation

DENVER -- It's officially being called "Masterpiece 2," but unlike a sequel to a movie, this case has the real potential to set precedent for gay rights and religious freedom.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of baker Jack Phillips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood. Phillips had refused to make a wedding cake for a Denver gay couple in 2012.

However, legal experts say the high court's narrow ruling didn't make clear what Phillips could say "no" to going forward.

Autumn Scardina

Now, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is again alleging Phillips acted improperly -- this time, regarding his refusal to deny a transgender woman a "transition-themed" cake.

Phillips has sued Governor John Hickenlooper and the Civil Rights Commission requesting he be allowed to exercise his religious rights.

The state, however, argues this case is different from the previous, saying it's a different standard and a different type of cake.

Colorado officials claim all Autumn Scardina, the transgender woman involved, wanted was to have a pink cake with blue frosting. That is a type of cake Phillips has made for years. It was allegedly only after Phillips realized it was for a "transition" that he refused to make it.

"If you make product 1 for customer 1, you must make product 1 for customer 2," LeeAnn Morrill, First Assistant Attorney General, said in court Tuesday.

Phillips' attorneys continues to say the state is treating Masterpiece Cakeshop unfairly -- in direct contradiction to the Supreme Court ruling.

“The commission has made clear that it is intent on punishing Jack Phillips. Other cake artists are allowed to decline messages that they don’t want to communicate, but when Mr. Phillips does it, they come after him,” Jim Campbell, an attorney for Phillips, said.

Judge Wiley Daniel indicated Tuesday he would deny a motion to dismiss asked for by the state.

Judge Daniel also indicated he would deny Phillips’ request for a preliminary injunction over grounds it was too broad, advising counsel they should re-file.

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