Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Colorado Bakery Can Move Ahead With Suit Over Non-Discrimination Laws

In Masterpiece Cakeshop Inc. v. Elenis, (D CO, Jan. 4, 2018), a Colorado federal district court held that the owner of a Colorado bakery may move ahead with his suit seeking injunctive relief against enforcement of the state's anti-discrimination laws. However the court dismissed plaintiffs' damage claims on immunity grounds.  Plaintiff Jack Phillips won a U.S. Supreme Court victory last year when the Supreme Court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed impermissible hostility toward his religious objections to designing a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony.  While that case was pending, a different customer sought a cake to celebrate her gender transition. Phillips refused to make the cake that conveyed a message in conflict with his religious belief that gender is immutable. The Commission again issued a probable cause determination and the state filed a formal complaint against Phillips. In response Phillips filed this suit claiming that the Division's bullying of him violates his free exercise, free speech, due process and equal protection rights. Catholic News Agency reports on the decision.