News by email Donate


Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo
Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo
USA News

Supreme Court to hear arguments over Christian baker who refused to create transgender celebration cake

by Lydia Davies

The Colorado Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Tuesday, 19th June, in a case involving a Christian baker who refused to create a cake celebrating a gender transition.

This case is among three in the state that highlight the tension between LGBTQ+ civil rights and First Amendment rights.

At the heart of these cases is baker Jack Phillips, who gained attention in 2012 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. In 2018, Phillips achieved partial victory at the US Supreme Court regarding the incident. 

Phillips later faced a lawsuit from Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman, after he and his suburban Denver bakery declined to make a pink cake with blue frosting for her birthday, which was also intended to celebrate her gender transition. Scardina, an attorney, stated that her lawsuit aimed to "challenge the veracity" of Phillips' claims that he would serve LGBTQ+ customers.

Now before the Colorado Supreme Court, the case involves the state's anti-discrimination law, which prohibits refusing services based on characteristics such as race, religion or sexual orientation. The Colorado Court of Appeals previously ruled in favour of Scardina, determining that the cake — which had no requested writing — did not constitute a form of speech.

The appeals court noted that Phillips' bakery initially agreed to make the cake but later refused once Scardina explained its purpose. The unanimous three-judge ruling in 2023 stated: "We conclude that creating a pink cake with blue frosting is not inherently expressive and any message or symbolism it provides to an observer would not be attributed to the baker."

Additionally, the court found that the anti-discrimination law did not infringe upon business owners' rights to practise or express their religion.

According to The Independent, Phillips has argued that the cakes he creates are a form of speech protected by the First Amendment.

Another recent case in Colorado also deals with freedom of speech and LGBTQ+ rights. Last summer, the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of Lorie Smith, a Colorado graphic artist who did not want to design wedding websites for same-sex couples. Represented by the same legal organisation as Phillips, Smith successfully argued that creating such websites would violate her free speech rights.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email