Greisen Medlock Argues for Transgender Woman at Colorado Supreme Court

Paula Greisen wearing a pink jacket and black dress speaks to the press as our client, Autumn Scardina, stands behind her.

Greisen Medlock argued at the Colorado Supreme Court on behalf of our client, Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman who was refused service by the notorious Masterpiece Cakeshop when she tried to buy a pink cake with blue icing to celebrate her gender transition. Greisen Medlock’s statement on the argument:

The citizens of Colorado believe that a business owner cannot discriminate against a person because of their race, religion, gender – or because of who they love or their gender identity.  Once again, a citizen of Colorado has taken a stance opposing this type of discrimination against a business owner that refuses to follow this law.

Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman, a devout Christian, and a business owner herself, wanted a simple cake. Nothing fancy, nothing ornate, nothing that would have any meaning to anyone but to her.

She just asked for a pink cake with blue icing. She heard the owner of a bakery claim that they would make any baked good for members of the LGBTQ community EXCEPT for a wedding cake – because of the special religious meaning such cakes had for the owner. Autumn wanted to believe him.  She hoped that was true.

So she called and asked for a simple birthday cake – and the bakery said sure, we will make you a cake. Tell us the size, the colors, and when you want it. She gave them that information and they said no problem.

But when Autumn said that the blue and pink cake colors meant something special to her as a transgender woman – the bakery owner changed his mind.  He said:

         “I believe that God created male and female and we don’t get to choose that, we don’t get to change that, and I shouldn’t be forced to create a cake for somebody who does.”

The bakery owner admitted that he would make that same cake – with those same colors – for any other customer. He just wouldn’t make that cake for Autumn because she is a transgender woman. Just like he admitted in the trial that he would make a rainbow cake for anyone EXCEPT not for a gay person. That is the same as telling a person of color that they are welcome to eat at your restaurant but have to sit in the back, or that they can only order a limited menu of items. That is the same as a business saying we allow hats, but not yarmulkes.

That is discrimination.  Refusing to serve someone because of the color of their skin, their religion, who they are, or who they love, is illegal.  We are fully confident that the Colorado Supreme Court will again uphold the law in the state and the values that all of its citizens are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.

More coverage of the Colorado Supreme Court argument:

Case testing the constitutionality of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law goes to state supreme court – Colorado Public Radio

Colorado justices consider a pink and blue cake’s meaning in transgender discrimination case – Denver Post


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Equity and Justice for All

With a combined almost 50 years representing people in civil rights cases, Paula Greisen and Scott Medlock are leaders in the community representing victims of discrimination and governmental abuse. We have brought and won innovative lawsuits against Fortune 500 companies, as well as state and the federal governments, understanding that abuse and discrimination can affect anyone at any time.

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