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Colorado Judge Rules Against Bakery Owner Who Refused Gay Wedding Cake Because Of Jesus


Yesterday we brought you up to speed on a court case out of Colorado that was essentially asking whether a cake-making shop can refuse service to same-sex couples because of the shop owner's religious beliefs. The answer, according to a Colorado judge, was a resounding "no."

The judge ruled that the Lakewood bakery in question "unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake."

David Mullins and Charlie Craig who in July 2012 went to Denver's Masterpiece Cake Shop, owned by Jack Phillips,  looking for a cake to celebrate the couple's upcoming nuptials. 

From the ACLU:

"Being denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop was offensive and dehumanizing especially in the midst of arranging what should be a joyful family celebration," said Mullins. "No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are. We are grateful to have the support of our community and our state, and we hope that today's decision will help ensure that no one else will experience this kind of discrimination again in Colorado."

"While we all agree that religious freedom is important, no one's religious beliefs make it acceptable to break the law by discriminating against prospective customers," said Amanda C. Goad, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. "No one is asking Masterpiece's owner to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple."

Phillips admitted he had turned away other same-sex couples as a matter of policy. The Colorado Civil Rights Division's [CCRD's] decision noted evidence in the record that Phillips had expressed willingness to take a cake order for the "marriage" of two dogs, but not for the commitment ceremony of two women, and that he would not make a cake for a same-sex couple's wedding celebration "just as he would not be willing to make a pedophile cake."

No word on whether Phillips will keep his pledge to close his cake shop if forced to bake a gay wedding cake. 

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  1. Result! Btw, what's a pedophile cake?

    Posted by: bollox | Dec 6, 2013 7:38:42 PM

  2. I'm gay, but I don't think this guy should have to make the stupid cake it he doesn't want to. If I were a member of that couple, I wouldn't want a cake for my wedding made by somebody who hated me and/or making my wedding cake anyway. It makes me think they sought him out just to force this issue.

    Posted by: Curtis | Dec 6, 2013 7:43:42 PM

  3. Here's a win for civil rights! You can't refuse someone's business because of the color of their skin, age, or if they have a disability. So why should their sexual orientation be a matter of refusal of business?

    Posted by: Oliver | Dec 6, 2013 8:06:56 PM

  4. Was the reception put on hold until all of this was over?

    Denver law is very clear about protecting gay rights. The bakery owner would need to locate to, say, Wyoming, which does not protect gay rights.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 6, 2013 8:07:26 PM

  5. Go get a flawless cake from a gay cake maker. Problem solved. Better cake, and less money in an idiots pocket.

    Posted by: Stephen | Dec 6, 2013 8:08:02 PM

  6. The caption is misleading: the owner of the bakery refused to make the gay couples' wedding cake because of his too strict religious beliefs, not Jesus, who stood for love and compassion and mercy, not sacrifice.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Dec 6, 2013 8:08:13 PM

  7. @Bollox: a pedophile cake prefers the company of under-baked babas.

    Posted by: Vint | Dec 6, 2013 8:27:16 PM

  8. I like what you said a few days back Andy. Jesus would have just baked the cake. And the wine, there would be lots of wine.

    Posted by: lonewolfen | Dec 6, 2013 8:37:48 PM

  9. These types of businesses who wish for an excemption from non-discrimination laws based on their own religious beliefs should be driven into the sea, and consigned to extinction like the neandethals they are. The world is evolving. Either get with the program or move your bigoted asses to Russia!

    Posted by: Scooter | Dec 6, 2013 8:37:58 PM

  10. I'm sure he has never made a divorce celebration cake...

    Posted by: bkmn | Dec 6, 2013 8:43:32 PM

  11. The problem was solved: it was solved in the courts, which is the system we have to solve our problems.

    Nobody's forcing the bigot baker to do anything other than follow the law, exactly the way everybody else has to. If he doesn't want to, he can break the law and pay the price or find a job governed by laws he can bring himself to obey.

    Christers don't want to play by the rules, they want to rule us. They don't get to do that. That's a good thing for everybody, even the crazy Christers who are too crazy with hate to understand how badly they'd screw everything up for everyone if they ever overthrew this country and got the power they want.

    Posted by: Oncemorewithfeeling | Dec 6, 2013 8:54:49 PM

  12. For the life of me I can't understand why anyone would want to do business with a homophobic business owner. What gay person would want to pay someone like this to bake a cake for them knowing his beliefs? I'd say something like, "thanks for letting me know." Then I'd find a bakery that wanted my business.

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 6, 2013 8:56:16 PM

  13. @ ROB They weren't suing for a cake, the were suing for refusal of service. You can sue, and still find another baker. YAY!

    Posted by: Ong | Dec 6, 2013 9:08:27 PM

  14. I agree that it makes more sense to spend our money in a gay friendly business- but at the same time these religious bigots have to understand that they can not used their religion as an excuse to discriminate.

    Posted by: jarago | Dec 6, 2013 9:09:47 PM

  15. @ JARGO The couple didn't go to a judge and say, 'Please make this baker bake me a wedding cake.'
    They sued because they were denied service. I'm sure they did find another business to accomodate their needs.

    Posted by: Ong | Dec 6, 2013 9:16:43 PM

  16. You cannot use religion as an excuse to break the law. The shop owner should get a rainbow flag, put a red circle and cross bar on top of it and put it in his window. That would not exempt him from following the law, but LGBT customers would avoid his business completely. But of course he would also be publically stating he's a bigot.

    Posted by: adamth | Dec 6, 2013 9:27:52 PM

  17. If the law allowed the religious exemption for this, then it would be a matter of time before it would be argued that something else was against the business owner's first amendment rights--say, to deny contraception and health care to employees.

    That's what the Supreme Court is looking at now. It's a slippery slope, and one these christers think is OK, because they couldn't imagine any other brand of religion but their own being enforced. They would howl like stuck pigs, though, if a cake shop run by satanists was allowed to refuse service to them, or otherwise allowed to use their religious beliefs as exemption to civil law.

    Posted by: kdknyc | Dec 6, 2013 9:32:00 PM

  18. ADAMTH, Putting a sign like that in the window might be against the law in some places. In some places, it is not legal to put up "no gays" or "Straights only", or "whites only", or "no non-whites", or "Christians only" or other signs like that.

    Posted by: BB | Dec 6, 2013 9:35:57 PM

  19. For those of you who don't get it....they didn't seek out some business who said "No gays allowed," then demand a cake. While making plans for their wedding, like millions do a year, they went to a local bakery who does amazing cakes, excited to have one done for the most important day of their lives. They got there, hopes and dreams in hand, and were told to their face "we don't serve your kind here," or however he phrased it.

    The day my husband and I got our civil union in Germany, the man who was supposed to perform the ceremony, walked in, saw that it was us, standing with our family and friends, and walked out, refusing to perform the ceremony. They had to find another, and while it it still one of the best days of my life, I will never forget that insulting, embarrassing, humiliating, illegal few minutes of "I won't serve your kind."

    This is what anti discrimination laws are there to protect.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Dec 6, 2013 9:52:21 PM

  20. When you're a virulently anti-gay, middle-aged man with Anne Hathaway's haircut who makes frou frou cakes for a living, you probably need to look up the words "denial" and "overcompensating" in the dictionary.

    Posted by: FFS | Dec 6, 2013 10:00:21 PM

  21. Say what you will, but Philips has facial bone structure to die for.

    Just saying.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 6, 2013 10:21:33 PM

  22. And a beautiful head of hair, I might add.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 6, 2013 10:23:10 PM

  23. BB, The modified rainbow flag would just be saying he does not WANT to do business with LGBT customers - it would not be saying he would refuse do business with LGBT customers.

    Or maybe he should just put up a sign saying "I don't want to serve Gays & Lesbians, but I will if I have to follow the law." Personally I would not want to do business with him, I'd find some other bakery that wants & appreciates my business.

    Posted by: AdamTh | Dec 6, 2013 10:30:07 PM

  24. @Curtis: he doesn't have to make a cake if he doesn't want to, but his only option under Colorado law is to either serve all customers equally or not make cakes in a bakery that takes paying customers.

    He can always set himself up as a "cake consultant" and only advertise his services to churches, but if he accepts business from the general public, he can't exclude people based on his personal prejudices.

    The law does not require him to like gays. It simply requires businesses to not discriminate. If he can't run a business that complies with state law for whatever reason, he shouldn't try to start such a business.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 6, 2013 10:34:05 PM

  25. @ ADAMTH The circle with a diagonal bar though it is the symbolic equivalent of "No" when superimposed over something.
    Like the "No smoking" sign, or a "no mobile devices" sign in hospitals, or "no bare feet" or "no shirtlessness" signs when entering some shopping malls or restaurants.

    The modified rainbow flag would NOT just be saying he does not want to do business with LGBT customers, as you say. You're imposing your own interpretation of the circle-&-diagonal-bar and it wouldn't work.

    Posted by: BB | Dec 6, 2013 10:51:11 PM

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