Colorado must keep records flowing in gay cake squabble

Courthouse News Service: A federal judge on Tuesday denied Colorado’s bid to keep a baker from using public records law in a lawsuit in which he claims he’s being unfairly targeted by the state for refusing business from LGBT customers.

After Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips convinced the U.S. Supreme Court this past June that Colorado unfairly targeted him for declining to make pastries for LGBT customers, he sued that state in August claiming he’s still being persecuted for his beliefs.

In the Alfred A. Arraj Federal Courthouse in Denver on Tuesday, assistant state attorney general LeAnn Morrill told U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott Varholak that 275 Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests filed by Phillips burdened the state as it prepared to respond to discovery requests.

The state responded to Phillips’ records requests and gave him a $50,000 bill, about $182 per record. Phillips’ attorney James Campbell, with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said they will have to pick and choose which requests they pursue.

“If you take that CORA away you are penalizing us for being in federal court. You’re taking away a right that every other citizen has,” Campbell told Varholak.

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