Denver Hub




Denver Baker Appeals Colorado Civil Rights Commission's Finding That He Discriminated Against Gay Couple

Jack phillips baker denver

Denver baker Jack Phillips has appealed an order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) requiring him to prepare wedding cakes for same-sex couples, reports ABC News.

In May, the CCRC rejected Phillips’ appeal of a judge’s earlier ruling that he “unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake” in 2012.

Phillips has said that making the cake would violate the Christian principles by which he runs his business.

Phillips' attorneys say that the decision violates the baker’s First Amendment rights.

Earlier this month we reported that a bakery in Northern Ireland could face legal action from The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland for refusing to take an order for a cake with the slogan “support gay marriage.”

Watch a Fox News report on the Phillips case, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Denver Baker Appeals Colorado Civil Rights Commission's Finding That He Discriminated Against Gay Couple" »


Denver and Boulder Counties Continue to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

Colorado's ban on gay marriage was struck down earlier this week, and the ruling immediately stayed.

JohnsonTwo counties, however, have continued to issue marriage licenses, the Denver Post reports:

The Denver County clerk's office on Thursday began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, just hours after a Boulder judge rejected a bid by the state to block a similar move there.

...Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson's (pictured) decision came after a Boulder County judge said he would allow Boulder's clerk to continue issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, rejecting a request from Attorney General John Suthers to issue an injunction.

Denver issued 17 licenses to same-sex couples Thursday afternoon.

Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz said he will begin issuing licenses to gay couples on Friday morning, and other county clerks said they were considering their next steps. At least four counties — El Paso, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Weld counties — said they had no plans to follow suit.

Governor John Hickenlooper has urged teh state's attorney general not to appeal the ruling.


Six Same-Sex Couples File Lawsuit Challenging Colorado's Gay Marriage Ban - VIDEO

Hillary hall same-sex marriage licenses

Yesterday, six Colorado couples filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The state voted to ban same-sex marriage in 2006.

The lawsuit, which states that Colorado "unlawfully denies the issuance of marriage licenses, and refuses to recognize the marriages of certain couples, based solely on the sex of the persons in the marriage union," comes during an ongoing battle in the state on the issue of gay marriage.

The plaintiffs are Catherine Burns, Sheila Schroeder, Mark Thrun, Geoffrey Bateman, Rachel Catt, Cassie Rubald, Breanna Alexander, Stacy Parrish, Angela Cranmore, Julianne Deloy, Karen Collier, and Denise Lord.

According to ABC 7 News Denver, the lawsuit, which names Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, and two county clerks as defendants, follows the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal's decision to strike down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Following this decision, on June 25, Boulder County clerk Hillary Hall decided to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Speaking to The Denver Post, Catherine Burns said that "most families in Colorado do not want this discriminatory law on the books."

The Court of Appeal ruling states that the Fourteenth Amendment “protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.”

According to Mari Newman, whose firm is representing the six couples:

"From a legal perspective, this case really ought to be a slam dunk and it's not often that lawyers get to say that. But here the 10th Circuit has been absolutely clear."

In June, Judge C. Scott Crabtree presided over two cases which argued that the gay marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution, according to ABC 7 News Denver.  Crabtree has yet to issue a ruling.

Watch the ABC 7 News Denver report on the new lawsuit, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Six Same-Sex Couples File Lawsuit Challenging Colorado's Gay Marriage Ban - VIDEO" »


Colorado Civil Rights Commission Finds Bakery Owner Discriminated Against Gay Couple

Jack phillips

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission has rejected a Denver-area bakery’s appeal of an judge’s earlier ruling that bakery owner Jack Phillips “unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake” last July.

The commission affirmed the prior ruling that found Phillips in violation of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. The commission also ordered a change of policy, staff training, and quarterly reporting to confirm that the bakery is not turning away customers due to sexual orientation.

Said Paula Greisen of King and Griessen LLP, which represents the gay couple as cooperating counsel with the ACLU of Colorado: “Everyone who shops in our stores and conducts business in our state should be treated with equality and dignity. That’s what this ruling was about today.”

Phillips has pledged to close his cake shop if forced to bake a gay wedding cake.


20+ Prominent Republicans From Western U.S. Sign Brief In Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage

TenthcircuitThe times they are a-changin', or so it seemed yesterday when it was announced that over twenty prominent Republican lawmakers would file a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of same-sex marriage for the 10th Circuit court (right). The court will hear appeals this April from both Oklahoma and Utah, states looking to reinstate same-sex marriage bans after federal courts struck them down this winter. 

The New York Times reports:

The most prominent of the approximately 20 signers of the brief are former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, a longtime supporter of gay rights, and former Senator Nancy L. Kassebaum of Kansas, who said last year that she had reconsidered her former opposition to same-sex marriage. The document says that “marriage is strengthened” and “the social stability of the family unit are promoted” by allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

The Times noted that the brief is but one document in an on-going shift in the Republican party, which has seen much more support for same-sex marriage in the past couple of years.

Last month, a New York Times/CBS News poll found a rapid shift in Republican attitudes nationwide. Forty percent of Republicans said same-sex marriage should be legal, up from 33 percent last May and only 24 percent in September 2012.

Sean Gallagher, a lawyer and Republican Party activist in Denver who helped prepare the brief, said many Republicans were rethinking their positions. “The themes of liberty and freedom resonate especially well in the West,” said Mr. Gallagher, who was chief counsel in Colorado for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012.

Early last year, dozens of Republicans, including four former governors and former White House officials, joined in a similar legal brief to the Supreme Court, arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry. Neither Mr. Simpson nor Ms. Kassebaum signed that document.

If the 10th Circuit appeals court upholds the federal courts' decisions, we could see same-sex marriage legalized not only in Utah and Oklahoma, but also Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming. New Mexico, which already legalized same-sex marriage in December, is also a part of the 10th Circuit.


Anti-gay Colorado Baker Appeals Court Ruling Ordering Him to Serve Gays

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips, with the help of conservative Christian legal defense organization, has appealed a recent court ruling against him for his refusal to serve a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs. The judge had ruled that the Lakewood bakery owner “unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake” back in July. The AP reports:

Alliance Defending Freedom filed an appeal Monday on behalf of Masterpiece Cakeshop. A judge last month ordered the shop to stop discriminating against gay couples.

[…]

ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner says “forcing Americans to promote ideas against their will undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression.”

Phillips has pledged to close his cake shop if forced to bake a gay wedding cake. 


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged