Jack Phillips, a smiling grandfather from the Denver suburbs, is about to face the tenth year of unceasing high-stakes lawfare against his religious convictions. His only ambition was to combine his visual and culinary artistic talents in a business that serves Jesus, the Master. Masterpiece Cakeshop, with its artist’s palette logo, makes this clear.
But on July 19, 2012, a couple walked into his shop who would unleash the opening salvo of nine years of belligerent litigation. Colorado did not allow same-sex “marriage” at the time, but it had recently inserted the language of sexual orientation and gender identity into its 1957 civil rights law. Armed with their relationship certificate from Massachusetts, the leftist lobby behind this same-sex couple would soon see how powerful a weapon this bias-crime law was.
The first charge was filed in September 2012. It was argued all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Masterpiece Cakeshop narrowly prevailed on June 4, 2018. Immediately, however, Autumn (formerly Adam) Scardina — who had been bombing Phillips with absurd email requests for months — filed a new charge, demanding he decorate a cake with transgender messages.
Within nine months, this case was dismissed by the Colorado Commission on Civil Rights. Without delay Scardina, an activist lawyer, sued in a private capacity. Last week, a Colorado judge leveled a $500 fine against Phillips. The amount is symbolic. The real game is the ongoing lawfare.
Once an artist puts his art on the market, do customers have the right to compel him to use those talents to convey any and every message? Can a consumer compel a Muslim artist to paint a mural that blasphemes Allah? Can an atheist be forced to create lyrics that glorify God? Can a Christian be forced to deny the deity of Christ?
The legal precedents preventing one person from forcing another to speak against his will are long-established and unassailable. So those prosecuting people like Phillips resort to legal contortions that twist the issue into something else. These contortions are three-fold.
Attacking Free Thought By Isolating the Target
First, they need to
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