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After His Supreme Court Victory, How Can Jack Phillips Possibly Be in Trouble Again?


When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips this summer, many Christians breathed a sigh of relief and assumed that Phillips' legal troubles were over.  

But now there's clear evidence they're not.

Six years ago, a gay couple sued Phillips for refusing to bake a cake for their wedding. This time, a transgender woman has filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, saying Phillips discriminated against her when she requested a cake celebrating her gender transition from male to female.

Phillips told CBN News in an interview recently, "The Bible teaches that God created us male and female and we don't get to choose that and we don't get to change that."

It's a politically incorrect belief these days.

Regent University law professor Brad Jacob says it makes sense that Phillips is in hot water once again.

"Phillips has become a target now," he told CBN News. "The LGBT community in Colorado has focused on him. He's become a kind of poster boy of Christians who don't accept all the practices of the gay community and so it's not particularly surprising that they're going after him again."

The Supreme Court's ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case helped to put the target on Phillip's back by failing to address his claim that he has the right to obey his conscience. 

Instead, the justices ruled narrowly, faulting the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for showing hostility to his beliefs. Now, with the commission ruling that Phillips discriminated in refusing to bake a transgender cake, Phillips maintains that the hostility is back – and he's going on the offensive, filing suit against the commission.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jim Campbell, who represents Phillips, told CBN News, "The state is essentially empowering people who want to harass him to file these complaints and essentially bring him down by continuing to harass him through these discrimination charges. We need the federal court to step in and say the state can't allow that."

Jacob says it's not clear that the commission is indeed targeting Phillips, although he believes it could have ignored the latest complaint. "The commission certainly could say, 'We've already gone after this guy once. Let's drop it. Let's leave him alone,'" Jacob said.

What's needed ultimately is for the Supreme Court to decide just how people of faith can draw the line when it comes to same-sex marriage, gender transition and other social issues that are divisive. Until then, Christian business owners face a host of questions – and uncertain consequences.

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