Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, state of Colorado call truce, drop claims

DENVER — The state of Colorado and Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips have mutually agreed to end ongoing state and federal court litigation, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission will dismiss administrative action against Phillips, and Phillips will withdraw his federal court case against the case.

“After careful consideration of the facts, both sides agreed it was not in anyone’s best interest to move forward with these cases, Attorney General Phil Weiser said.

“The larger constitutional issues might well be decided down the road, but these cases will not be the vehicle for resolving them. Equal justice for all will continue to be a core value that we will uphold as we enforce our state’s and nation’s civil rights laws.”

The commission voted unanimously to dismiss the case against Phillips.

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

The high court ruled that Phillips did not violate the state’s anti-discrimination law for refusing to make the wedding cake for Charlie Craid and David Mullins.

In August, Phillips sued then-Gov. John Hickenlooper and the commission, saying the state had renewed its religious persecution by investigating the Lakewood baker despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The lawsuit said 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 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.

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