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Colorado baker sues state for religious persecution

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Barbara Herath holds up a sign during protests outside the Supreme Court over the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case in Washington, D.C. on December 5, 2017. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI

By Susan McFarland, UPI

A Colorado baker who won a Supreme Court ruling this year over his refusal to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage is now suing the state.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court by Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, targets Colorado's governor, attorney general and members of the Colorado Civil Rights Division. It centers on another request -- to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition -- that Phillips also refused.

Attorneys for Phillips say even though he won at the Supreme Court in June, he's still being persecuted for his faith because the state filed a discrimination complaint over his refusal.

[post_ads_2]"This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado's continuing persecution of Phillips," the lawsuit says.

On June 4, a 7-2 ruling by the high court determined Phillips was within his rights to refuse providing his service, based on religious grounds. The same day, a Colorado attorney called his cake shop with the order for the gender transition event.

A few weeks later, the state of Colorado informed the Phillips he violated state law by refusing.

In Tuesday's lawsuit, Phillips seeks court injunctions against the state from enforcing anti-discrimination laws, and $100,000 in punitive damages.

Phillips said anyone, no matter their sexual identity, religion or race, can shop at his store, but it is standard industry practice for cake artists to decline orders that express messages or celebrate events they do not want to support, or that violate their beliefs.

The lawsuit says Phillips has also turned down requests celebrating Satan, featuring Satanic symbols, depicting sexually explicit materials and promoting marijuana use.

The suit also cites numerous bakeries that turned down a request to create a cake featuring President Donald Trump for a nine-year-old boy.

"It is now clear that Colorado will not rest until Phillips either closes Masterpiece Cakeshop or agrees to violate his religious beliefs," the lawsuit said. "The state's continuing efforts to target Phillips do not just violate the Constitution; they cross the line into bad faith. This Court should put a stop to Colorado's unconstitutional bullying."

Gov. John Hickenlooper told reporters Wednesday he expects the case to also be referred to the Supreme Court.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Colorado baker sues state for religious persecution
Colorado baker sues state for religious persecution
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