Colorado drops case against Christian baker
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission announced Tuesday it will abandon its latest effort to force baker Jack Phillips to make custom cakes in violation of his religious beliefs. The U.S. Supreme Court previously ruled that the state commission showed hostility toward religion in its earlier prosecution of Phillips for declining to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., similarly refused to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition because of his religious beliefs, sparking another complaint and investigation of Phillips by the Civil Rights Commission.
Phillips sued the state, saying it disregarded the Supreme Court decision by pursuing the second complaint. The decision to drop the case followed discoveries by Phillips’ attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom that members of the Civil Rights Commission still exhibit anti-religious bias. Just last week, ADF attorneys uncovered statements from a 2018 public meeting in which two commissioners voiced their support for comments that a previous commissioner, Diann Rice, made in 2015. Those comments, which the Supreme Court sternly condemned in its ruling in favor of Phillips last year, called religious freedom “a despicable piece of rhetoric.” ADF also documented one commissioner calling Phillips a “hater” on Twitter.
“Jack’s victory is great news for everyone,” ADF Senior Vice President Kristen Waggoner said. “The state’s demonstrated and ongoing hostility toward Jack because of his beliefs is undeniable.”
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