LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A Lakewood gay couple may end up having a masterpiece of a wedding, but they won’t have a “Masterpiece” cake to go along with it.
Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, told the couple they have their sexual orientation to thank for that. It’s an event that occurred on the afternoon of July 19, and it’s sparking national attention, a petition and a boycott of the local bakery.
Phillips said it has also spiked a boom in his business, which he said has doubled since the incident.
It all started when Dave Mullins, 28, and Charlie Craig, 31, went into the Masterpiece Cakeshop hoping to get a rainbow-layered cake with teal and red frosting for their wedding reception, which will take place in Denver this October after their wedding in Provincetown, Mass., which is set for September.
Phillips informed the couple his business does not create cakes for gay weddings. Mullins took to his Facebook page.
Describing the ordeal as an “awkward, surreal, very brief encounter,” Mullins said he responded by directing an expletive and an obscene gesture at the owner of what he is calling a “homophobic cake shop.”
Phillips said he isn’t a homophobe, and that he would gladly serve any other baked good to a gay couple — just not a wedding cake.
“I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, so you could say this is a religious belief,” Phillips said. “I believe the Bible teaches that (homosexuality) is not an OK thing.”
The bakery is family owned and operated. Phillips said since 1993, it has turned away about a half dozen same sex weddings.
While this incident has brought about several death threats – the cake shop was forced to call the police Sunday – Phillips said the boom in publicity hasn’t hurt business. Just the opposite, in fact.
“(On Monday) we had about twice as much business as normal,” Phillips said. “There are people coming in to support us.”
Colorado law says it’s illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation in employment and housing. But when it comes to things like selling cakes, the law is less than clear. Either way, Phillips said he has legal representation if anyone attempts to challenge his right to refuse service to gay couples.
According to online reviews, this isn’t the first time Masterpiece Cakeshop has been discriminatory with its service to individuals besides homosexuals.
In a February 2010 post that began by calling the bakery a “Judgmental Conservative Service,” one CitySearch.com commenter said she and her fiance were “met by a friendly woman who quickly turned holy-roller judgmental when she found out we were doing a Halloween-themed wedding.”
After being refused service by the Lakewood bakery, Mullins said he and Craig went to the “gayest cake shop we could think of.” That was Le Bakery Sensual in Denver. He also said the outpouring out support that he and Craig have received from “around the world” has been “so reassuring.”
“It’s kind of one of those things that restores your faith in humanity,” Mullins said.