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USA News

Christian baker back in court over refusal to bake a cake to celebrate client's gender transition

by Kelly Valencia

A US Christian baker is back in court to fight another ruling accusing him of discrimination. 

In 2018, Jack Philips won a case at the US Supreme Court for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Now, he is appealing a 2021 ruling that found him guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a cake to celebrate a gender transition. 

He was ordered to pay a £452 ($500) fine. 

It follows a lawsuit brought by lawyer Autumn Scardina after Philips refused to bake a cake, pink on the outside and blue on the inside, to celebrate a gender transition in 2017. 

He argued his religious beliefs prevented him from providing the service.

But last year, a court found Philips had violated Colorado's anti-discrimination law by refusing to bake the cake. 

Now, he is back in court with his lawyers from Christian legal organisation Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), arguing for his free speech rights to be upheld and the 2021 ruling be overturned. 

"No one should be forced to express a message that violates their beliefs and conscience," Jake Warner, ADF Senior Counsel, who represents Phillips. 

"Activists and state laws have threatened artists like Jack and graphic artist Lorie Smith because they can't express messages on marriage and gender that violate their core beliefs.

"In this case, an activist attorney demanded that Jack create expressive cakes to test him and 'correct the errors' of his thinking.

"The attorney even promised to sue Jack again if the case is dismissed for any reason. Free speech is for everyone.

"The Constitution protects the freedom of every American to express ideas even if the government disagrees with those ideas."

According to the Associated Press, one of Scardina's lawyers, John McHugh, said she did not ask Phillips to support her view, just to sell her a cake.

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