On August 14, a new lawsuit was filed on behalf of Masterpiece Cakeshop's Jack Phillips, a Christian baker whose refusal to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012 was endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. The development inspired a satirical bit by late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, whose claim that Phillips's "whole life is gay" has caused an enormous backlash in the right-wing media.
The latest suit claims that a fresh State of Colorado complaint about Phillips's 2017 refusal to make what's described as "a cake designed with a blue exterior and pink interior [to] visually depict and celebrate a gender transition" is essentially harassment that could have dire consequences.
"It is now clear that Colorado will not rest until Phililps either closes Masterpiece Cakeshop or agrees to violate his religious beliefs," the suit maintains. "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."
Kimmel saw the scenario differently.
"The Colorado Civil Rights Division says [Phillips] has to bake [the cake] for them. And he doesn’t want to. Which is really funny," he maintained during a monologue segment broadcast on August 16. "Because this is a guy who spends all day, every day, meticulously designing flowers out of icing. His whole life is gay."
Click to see the video, shared by the Daily Caller.
Since that night, conservative media outlets have bashed Kimmel vigorously. Note, for example, a Washington Times piece headlined "Late-night comic deploys LGBT stereotypes to mock Christian baker: 'His whole life is gay'" and a Breitbart jeremiad that asks the rhetorical question, "What’s next? Will Kimmel taunt people because they might be Jewish or black?"
The pushback on Twitter has been, if anything, even more passionate — and it's continuing days later. Here are several examples:
@RedStateWatcher: "Kimmel Just Went After the Colorado Bakers!! Comedian Jimmy Kimmel mocked Colorado baker Jack Phillips on his show Thursday for refusing to bake a gender transition cake, adding that Phillips’s “whole life is gay.” (Share The Truth)."
@DefendMarriage: "Jimmy Kimmel Attacks Jack Phillips, accusing Phillips of being homosexual and making fun of his appearance: 'I don’t know if he’s worried the wrong cake might bring that to life or what. And I will add, this is...'"
@Bryan700: "Jimmy Kimmel’s Rant on Christian Baker Jack Phillips Reaches an Astounding New Low."
@treetopangel: "The only way kimmel could be sincere in this is if he is a homosexual himself. Creep."
@wziminer: "I was originally on the side of the gay couple when I first heard about this case, but this deliberate harassment of Jack Phillips has convinced me that these activists are evil and need to be stopped. Jimmy Kimmel is an a$$."
@carolinelv: "SUE THE SON OF A BITCH JIMMY KIMMEL!!!"
Another Masterpiece Cakeshop lawsuit: That's just what we need.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.