Jack Philips, an American Christian baker has been fined for refusing to bake a cake to celebrate a gender transition.
A judge in the US state of Colorado has ruled that Philips violated the state's anti-discriminatory laws by declining to provide the service to lawyer Autumn Scardina who, in 2019, ordered a cake pink on the outside and blue on the inside, to reflect her gender transition.
Judge A. Bruce Jones has ordered Philips to pay $500 to Scardina arguing that Philips had clearly denied the "goods and services" because of Scardina's "transgender status".
"Defendants admit that they were willing to make the requested cake until Ms. Scardina identified that she chose the colors to reflect and celebrate her identity as a transgender female," Judge A. Bruce Jones said.
"Defendants are, however, willing to make cakes for non-transgender individuals that reflect that person's gender. And defendants would 'gladly' make an identical looking cake for other customers," he continued.
Philips said he could not bake the cake because of the message it would imply but the judge said the case was about the refusal of selling the product rather than "compelled speech".
Jones continued: "the analysis would be different if the cake design had been more intricate, artistically involved, or overtly stated a message attributable to defendants."
This is not the first time Philips has been involved in legal battles for declining to bake cakes arguing his religious beliefs prevent him from doing so. In 2018, the Christian baker partially won a case at the US Supreme Court for declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding.
Alliance Defending Freedom representing Philips, has vowed to appeal the ruling and said the case "represents a disturbing trend: the weaponization of our justice system to ruin those with whom the activists disagree."
"We will appeal this decision and continue to defend the freedom of all Americans to peacefully live and work according to their deeply held beliefs without fear of punishment.
"Radical activists and government officials are targeting artists like Jack because they won't promote messages on marriage and sexuality that violate their core convictions," the statement reads.