State officials in Colorado, including the governor, who were publicly and formally rebuked by the U.S. Supreme Court for their “hostility” to a cake baker acting on his Christian faith, have been given a pass on subsequent hostility to the same baker by a federal judge who instead left the taxpayers on the hook for the actions of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Those would be Aubrey Elenis, Anthony Aragon, Miguel Rene Elias, Carol Fabrizio, Charles Garcia, Rita Lewis, Jessica Pocock and Ajay Menon.
They were sued by Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who was attacked several years ago by the same commission for refusing to promote homosexuality with his artistry. The state officials, among another things, had ordered him into reindoctrination, but he won his battle at the U.S. Supreme Court, which found the state of Colorado, through its commissioners, was hostile to his faith.
When that same commission launched a second attack on Phillips after the Supreme Court ruled for him in the first fight, he sued, and a new ruling from U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel says that case will continue against the state.
But the judge gave a pass to all those individuals who pursued the discriminatory acts cited in Phillips’ lawsuit.
That means that the individual commissioners likely will face no punishment or liability for their offending actions, but if there is a decision for Phillips in the eventual trial, it would be the taxpayers in the state who are liable.
The first Colorado attack on Phillips came because he refused to provide a creation promoting homosexuality.
Wiley pointed out that commission members “made disparaging comments about Phillips’ faith.” And they “treated Phillipes differently from three other bakeries by allowed (sic) those bakeries to refuse a customer’s request to make a cake that would have violated their secular values, while requiring Phillips to produce a cake that would have violated sacred his beliefs.”
But the state immediately launched a second attack on Phillips because he subsequently refused to create a cake celebrating gender change, which also would violate his Christian faith.
Officials with the Alliance Defending Freedom, who had won the Supreme Court fight for Phillips earlier, then sued the state and those involved officials on Phillips behalf to demand a halt to their persecution of him.
“The same agency that the Supreme Court rebuked as hostile to Jack Phillips has remained committed to treating him unequally and forcing him to express messages that violate his religious beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell, who argued before the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on Dec. 18. “Colorado is acting in bad faith and with bias toward Jack. We look forward to moving forward with this lawsuit to ensure that Jack isn’t forced to create custom cakes that express messages in conflict with his faith.”
Wiley ruled that there is evidence in Phillips’ complaint against the state of further “unequal treatment.”
He explained while the state “allow[s] other cake artists to decline requests to create custom cakes that express messages they deem objectionable and would not express for anyone,” Phillips was treated differently.
“This ‘disparate treatment,’ the court said, ‘reveals’ the state officials’ ongoing ‘hostility towards Phillips, which is sufficient to establish they are pursuing the discrimination charges against Phillips in bad faith, motivated by Phillips’…religion….'”
The ADF explained the background of the new fight:
“After an attorney who targeted Phillips complained to the state about Phillips’ decision not to create a cake designed pink on the inside and blue on the outside to celebrate and reflect a gender transition, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission – the same state agency that lost its case against Phillips at the Supreme Court in June – filed a formal complaint against him. The attorney who requested the gender-transition cake later asked Phillips to design a cake with satanic themes and images – a request that Phillips also declined because of what the cake would communicate,” the group said.
“Jack serves all customers, and he is even happy to serve the attorney who lodged the complaint against him,” Campbell explained. “But Jack doesn’t create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his deeply held beliefs. He can’t get a fair shake before the state commission. A commissioner set to decide the state’s new case against Jack has publicly referred to him as a ‘hater’ on Twitter, one of several indications of the commission’s ongoing bad faith toward him and his beliefs.”
Wiley ruled, however, that those individuals are protected from liability by immunity, so, if his ruling stands, they would be granted a free pass for their misbehavior.
It would be taxpayers who would be forced to pay damages for their actions.
The ADF said it is arguing the state is violating Phillips’ First Amendment free exercise of religion rights by continuing to treat him differently than other cake artists and by acting with hostility toward him and his faith. ADF is also arguing that the state is infringing Phillips’ free speech and due process rights, and that the commission’s adjudicative process is flawed because the same commissioners act as both accusers and adjudicators in the same case, an arrangement that the Supreme Court condemned in a 2016 decision.
The outgoing governor, John Hickenlooper, also was given a pass by Wiley for his appointment of the commissioners who publicly attacked Christianity. But the new case will be decided with a new governor in office.
Jared Polis, a former congressman who has boasted of his gay lifestyle choices and spent his years in Congress working to promote homosexuality and marijuana, is being inaugurated this week.
A megamillionaire – he made some $800 million when he took the online rights to his parents’ creations for their greeting card company, Blue Mountain Arts – and sold them, he also fought while in Congress to destroy traditional marriage and worked with now-disgraced and resigned Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., on plans to promote LGBT students in “all public and elementary and secondary public schools.”
WND reported when Wiley held a hearing on the various motions in the case that Twitter users unleashed a tidal wave of support for Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop.
Twitter user Amy reacted: “I have to wonder what the cakes from this place taste like at this point. They must be amazing.”
I have to wonder what the cakes from this place taste like at this point. They must be amazing https://t.co/UOgceVu6ut
— Amy☃️ (@AmyOtto8) December 20, 2018
Pointing out Colorado’s new prosecution, she added, “Maybe he couldn’t make a cake that turned into a pie.”
“Funny how these people keep coming to Masterpiece Cakeshop knowing the owner is a Christian who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding,” said a post on the Twitter news-aggregating site Twitchy. “There are other bakers, you know.”
“It’s almost like these people are targeting him for his religious beliefs or something,” added Twitter user Ironic Glasses. “But that can’t be right, because I’ve been assured for years that LGBQ is all about live and let live.”
“Diversity means forcing other people to believe what you do while not having to honor and respect their beliefs,” explained Anthony.
Others charged “harassment,” and Nuclear Dave pointed out, “It’s almost as if people don’t actually want a cake, what they want is to force their perverted beliefs on others.”
Phillips’ position from the outset has been that he will sell a cake to anyone, but he cannot be forced to create messages with which he disagrees. Previous court rulings have affirmed protection from “compelled speech.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., has asked the Department of Justice to intervene.
“Both Mr. Phillips and Masterpiece serve everyone. All people – no matter who they are, what they believe or what protected class they belong to – are welcome in Mr. Phillips’ shop and may purchase anything available for sale,” the congressman argued. “But as a devout Christian, Mr. Phillips cannot create custom cakes the express messages or that celebrate events in conflict with his deeply held religious beliefs.”
And the state’s second prosecution of Phillips prompted James Dobson, the noted Christian psychologist and founder of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, to call for reform of the commission, decrying the new claim as “a continued attack on the First Amendment and religious freedom.”
The post Judge rejects state bid to kill Christian baker's lawsuit appeared first on WND.