In June, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple

By Karen Mizoguchi
August 15, 2018 07:08 PM
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Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty

Two months after the Supreme Court ruled in his favor for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips is back in federal court.

This time, the Colorado baker and his shop are being accused of discrimination by the state of Colorado after refusing to create a blue-and-pink cake for a transgender woman’s birthday.

On Tuesday, a complaint filed by Phillips’ attorneys claimed the cake’s design “would have celebrated messages contrary to his religious belief that sex—the status of being male or female—is given by God, is biologically determined, is not determined by perceptions or feelings, and cannot be chosen or changed.”

They also claimed that the state was on a “crusade to crush” him, adding: “As a devout man of faith, Phillips cannot create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his religious beliefs. … For exercising his faith this way, Colorado has doggedly pursued Phillips, turning his life upside down.”

Phillips filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday evening against officials in the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) and other state officials.

Masterpiece Cakeshop
Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty

On June 26, 2017, the same day the Supreme Court agreed to hear Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Denver lawyer Autumn Scardina claims she called Masterpiece Cakeshop with her order.

“They asked what I wanted the cake to look like, and I explained I was celebrating my birthday on July 6, 2017, and that it would also be the 7th year of my transition from male to female,” Scardina said in her complaint filed in July 2017 with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

“When I explained I am a transsexual and that I wanted my birthday cake to celebrate my transition by having a blue exterior and a pink interior, they told me they will not make the cake based on their religious beliefs,” she stated.

Scardina added, “The woman on the phone did not object to my request for a birthday cake until I told her I was celebrating my transition from male to female. I believe other people who request birthday cakes get to select the color and theme of the cake.”

The CCRC issued a probable cause determination that Phillips had discriminated against Scardina in violation of state laws. The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act bans places of public accommodation from discriminating against customers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In 2012, Phillips declined to bake a wedding cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig. Phillips offered the couple other baked goods but refused to make them one of his signature custom cakes for the occasion, citing his religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Mullins and Craig filed charges with the CCRC, which ordered Phillips to treat heterosexual and homosexual couples equally. Phillips stopped making wedding cakes altogether and claimed he lost around 40% of his business in doing so when he took his case to the Supreme Court, arguing that forcing him to cater to same-sex weddings was a violation of his First Amendment right to free speech.

Shortly after, the Trump administration sided with Phillips, who previously told PEOPLE: “I knew that as a follower of Jesus Christ, his Sermon on the Mount says that no man can serve two masters and so I knew everything I’d do in the shop I’d do to honor him—something that would glorify him.”

In June, Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips in a 7-2 decision.

A rep for Masterpiece Cakeshop did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.