By Michael Abeyta
DENVER (CBS4) – Attention buzzed around Jack Phillips’ bakery again on Wednesday after he sued the state over another allegation of discrimination.
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“Here we are again,” he said.
Phillips has been through all of this before. In 2012, he refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. The couple and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission sued him, claiming Phillips had discriminated against them.
Phillips argued that making the cake would be against his religious beliefs.
In June, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the state was hostile to Phillips’ religious beliefs. He has not decided whether business owners can use religious objections to refuse to serve LGBT people.
“It was clear. He specifically told the commission that you are hostile to Jack’s faith. You can’t do that,” he said.
Now, a gender-transitioning Coloradan says Phillips refused to bake them a cake to celebrate their seven years as a woman.
“We told him as graciously as possible that it was a cake that we couldn’t make because of the message, but that this lawyer would be welcome in our shop anytime for any other custom work or choose anything. else in the store, ”Phillips said.
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Phillips is suing the state of Colorado saying the discrimination charge proves the state does not respect his religious beliefs.
“We have no choice but to go to federal court to try to sue the state commission to stop suing me every time I turn down a cake,” he said. .
Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is named a defendant in the lawsuit, says he can see both sides.
” This is a difficult question. It is certainly one of the thorniest issues I have seen in 15 years of public service, ”said Hickenlooper.
The governor supports the religious freedoms of individuals, but says people should never be denied goods or services because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
“I don’t think that’s what America stands for and I don’t think that’s what Colorado stands for,” Hickenlooper said.
As Phillips and his attorneys prepare for another legal fight, he just wants to get back to the pastry shop.
“I still serve everyone. I just don’t create every message on every cake, ”Phillips said.
CBS4 has contacted the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, but they said they are not commenting on pending or active litigation. The governor also says he believes that even though the Supreme Court has ruled that the state is hostile to Phillips’ beliefs, he hopes they will also decide whether cake-making is an expression of religious values and protected by the Constitution.
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Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and multimedia reporter for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He’s on Twitter! Follow it @ AbeytaCBS4.