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3 Disgusting Ways the Media Twisted the Truth in the Colorado Baker Transgender Cake Story

On Tuesday night, the Christian legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit to again defend the Christian baker Jack Phillips, who was targeted by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for refusing to create cake art celebrating a message that conflicts with his faith. Two months earlier, the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in a similar case.

The mainstream media, unable to ignore the story completely, twisted it out of recognition instead.

So, what actually happened? In 2012, Phillips refused to create an artistic cake celebrating a same-sex wedding, but offered the gay couple anything else in his shop. For this, the commission persecuted Phillips for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The same commission defended another baker's right to refuse to create cakes that stated a message with which she disagreed. Worse, the commission compared Phillips' actions to Nazi apologists, even though Phillips' own father fought the Nazis and liberated a concentration camp in World War II.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled (7-2) that Colorado had acted with "clear and impermissible hostility toward [Phillips'] sincere religious beliefs." The Court stuck down the double standard, vindicating Phillips' right to free exercise of religion against a hostile government.

Yet on June 26, 2017, the very day the Court decided to hear Phillips' case, a caller — Colorado lawyer Autumn Scardina — requested cake art celebrating a gender transition from male to female. The shop declined the request, as creating such a cake would violate Phillips' religious beliefs about gender.

A few days later, another caller from a number associated with the name "Scardina" asked for a "birthday" cake for Satan, complete with a red and black theme and an image of Satan smoking marijuana. Phillips denied this cake as well.

On June 4, 2018, the day the Supreme Court issued its decision, someone emailed Phillips claiming to be a "member of the Church of Satan." The email requested a "three-tiered white cake. Cheesecake frosting. And the topper should be a large figure of Satan, licking a 9" black Dildo [sic]. I would like the dildo to be an actual working model, that can be turned on before we unveil the cake."

Scardina's law practice states, "We take great pride in taking on employers who discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and serving them their just desserts."

Scardina complained to the Colorado commission and Colorado found probable cause that Phillips had discriminated against Scardina on the basis of sexual identity. On Tuesday, the ADF filed a lawsuit to block Colorado's attack.

With that background, here's how the media bungled the story.

1. Painting Phillips as the aggressor.