Court finds against bakery that refused to make cake for gay couple

Posted on: 4:09 pm, December 6, 2013, by , updated on: 04:36pm, December 6, 2013

Masterpiece Cake Shop protest

Gay rights supporters protest at Masterpiece Cake Shop.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A bakery owner who refused to sell a gay couple a cake for their wedding reception broke discrimination laws, a Colorado judge determined Friday.

Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig attempted to buy the cake in July of 2012. They planned to marry in Massachusetts, then hold a reception with friends and family in Colorado.

But Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips refused to serve them, saying his religious beliefs would not permit him to support a same-sex relationship in any way.

“I am a follower of Jesus Christ. So you could say it’s a religious belief,” Phillips said at the time. “I believe the Bible teaches (gay marriage) is not an OK thing.”

Backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Mullins and Craig continued to press the issue, filing complaints with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

In handing down Friday’s decision, Judge Robert N. Spencer of the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts noted that Phillips had previously made cakes for the “marriage” of two dogs, but made a policy of refusing to serve same-sex couples. By definition, that policy constitutes unlawful discrimination, the judge found.

“Being denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop was offensive and dehumanizing especially in the midst of arranging what should be a joyful family celebration,” Mullins said. “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 details were not yet clear, the ruling will likely require Masterpiece to change its discriminatory policies.

“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’ attorney, Nicolle Martin, has previously said that they would appeal the decision if they lost.

The legal fight served as a flashpoint for the legislature’s debate of a civil unions bill that passed earlier this year without any exemptions for businesses which oppose recognizing the legal rights of gay and lesbian couples based on its religious beliefs.

65 comments

  • REP says:

    Well, the judge is violating the Christian’s belief if he ordered the owner to sell the cake. I mean, he is not any more wrong than the owner.

  • LOVE WILL ALWAYS WIN!

  • John Eight Thirty-Two says:

    The government has violated that Christian man’s rights. I can feel his pain because I was victimized in much the same way when, in conformance with my religious beliefs, I refused to rent rooms in my hotel to negroes.

    When will it end???

  • sharkdiver says:

    Well, since religion is nothing more than ancient superstition and fables, and therefore not a good reason to discriminate, the decision makes sense.

  • dutchoven says:

    Cry babies! Man up and find a cake somewhere else….no, we can get the ACLU involved and hurt a small business….

  • The judge didn’t ask the baker to change his religious views…just to make the d@mn cake!

  • steve Benoit says:

    I wonder if the ACLU is targeting any muslim bakers, I didn’t think so.

  • Test says:

    “The judge didn’t ask the baker to change his religious views…just to make the d@mn cake!”

    No he didn’t. He instructed them to cease discriminating – the couple already had their celebration, hence this cake will never get baked.

    He also instructed them to “take other corrective action as deemed appropriate to the commission” and to file a bunch of reports. That has nothing to do with baking cakes, it’s all about keeping bureaucrats employed. Which is typical of our current legal system. This business is now going to be micromanaged by a government commission for who knows how long.

  • tlohm56 says:

    It’s a private business. If I do not want to sell someone a cake then thats my prerogative. I have no obligation to sell anyone a cake. Once again the government steps over the line. Go by your cake from someone else and quit whining.

  • Georgio says:

    “The government of the United States is not in ANY sense founded on the Christian Religion” By President John Adams, Treaty of Tripoli 1797

  • quickdraw53 says:

    this is just total BS there is no reason in this world that he should have to make the cake for them. all gays want to do is cause trouble and it will not stop here. they will find other ways to cause trouble which is also BS

  • “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    ― John Adams

  • “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
    ― George Washington

  • tlohm56 says:

    As a business owner I can post a sign that says ” We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” I do not have to give reasons. If you think my policies are inappropriate then just take your business elsewhere.

  • Arthur Kaske says:

    What the judge is ordering is that since we no longer resort to Bill Clinton’s government indifferent policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” we must n.o.w. pacify those who suffer from “heterophobia”, and otherwise, “gender identity disorder”, which are two clinically recognized mental illnesses, by “their” demands.

  • Jenny says:

    What happened to the right to refuse service to anyone? Basically you have no rights anymore. Welcome to your new socialist country.

  • tlohm56 says:

    It is our fault for letting the government get away with this type of behavior. We continue to let them take freedom away a little piece at a time until it’s gone. We will play hell getting it back.

  • john says:

    If you are refusing to serve sinners, then you better shut the doors.

  • destiny says:

    gays want the same rights as we do? really this is bs! they are bunch of cry babies i own a small bakery i can refuse and will refuse to sell to anyone i dont want to including gays!!!!!!!!

  • Andy says:

    The “judge” is wrong. A business can refuse service to anyone. This judge presents another reason why our judicial system is failing; right versus wrong, pay and play. To the couple, man-up and acquire your cake somewhere else. Why are your rights more important than a business owner? Why do you imply that we as a society owe you something.

  • Merle Hewitt says:

    the people should have the right to serve who they want with out a judge getting his nose onto go somewhere else which you did to bad for your luck hopelife gets miserable for you just the way your making it for other people

  • john cook says:

    It used to be that freedom included the right to associate or not to associate as a citizen chose.

    Those were the good old days

  • Emily says:

    Religious people sure know how to cherry pick… What if someone, because of their religious beliefs, stoned a woman to death because she was raped by someone other than her husband, or backed out of an arranged marriage? What if a Muslim bakery owner wouldn’t sell products to Christians because they go against their beliefs? The point is, they can believe what they want, but when it discriminates against, or hurts other people, that’s where the line is drawn.

  • George W. says:

    Judge is forcing him to go against his religious beliefs and therefore violating his first amendment right to freedom of religion.

  • Emily says:

    Once your “religious right” (which is a ridiculous term in my opinion) discriminates or hurts others, it’s no longer a right, it’s an offense. According to your philosophy, suicide bombers who kill in the name of their god had a “right” to do so.

  • Echo5 says:

    oh great

  • george william says:

    I will now visit a Muslim butcher and demand they sell me bacon !!!!!

  • I WAS planning on patronizing this bakery as a sign of support, but I’m sure a line of gays and lesbians will run out the door and around the building, frothing at the mouth, giddy with the prospect of forcing him to make them cakes. Good for business, bad for society.

  • Jeannette Major says:

    This is why our country has gone down in moral value.
    This is why our county has gone down in spiritual value.
    This is just the beginning of worse things to come.
    God give us strength to endure the coming times.
    From the very top in Washington, they all are pushing their agenda
    down our throats, whether we like it or not. But remember,
    His vengeance not ours….no you can’t can’t discriminate, but you don’t have
    to like them or anyone. You just have to love them! You will be honored for that in the end. And believe me…there will be an end to all of this ugly, selfish, and selfseeking behavior. Just be patient.

  • Slurpie says:

    In my opinion, the solution is simple. A christian business could have a menu that offers a bible scripture reference on each cake, without substitution.

    Offer the ‘same sex wedding cake collection’, and accept no substitutes. Each cake must have a reference to a bible verse that refers to marriage. If you want a cake without a bible reference, shop elsewhere. A Christian wedding cake business is a niche business focusing on the bible.

    For example a same sex wedding option #1 would simply print in rainbow icing the scripture reference; Romans 1:26-27

    Same sex Wedding cake option #2 might be: Leviticus 20:13

    Likewise, traditional weddings would also just offer a scripture reference such as:

    Traditional cake option #1 : Genesis 2:24

    Traditional option #2 Matthew 19:4-5

    .. and so on..

  • Jeannette Major says:

    Ingenious Slerpie! I commend your creativity!

  • eddie says:

    Morality and decency continue to circle the drain.

  • Keith says:

    Make em a special cake if you must and hope they share it with the judge. Some special ingredients to help their digestive system. Laxative cake would be appropriate!!!

  • js_biggs says:

    Only in a Fascist state can the government tell a company who they must cook for. This is your progressive fascist state to a tee.

  • js_biggs says:

    It is very simple. Serve them an horrible tasting cake.

  • Common Sense says:

    No one was hurt by this. Did the baker punch the couple? No. Did the baker threaten the couple? No. This is all based off of feelings. You’re not supposed to legislate on feelings. That’s the problem. We can’t legislate everyone to like everyone. If someone crosses the line and physically hurts or threatens someone because they don’t like them, we already have laws against that. But just because you don’t agree with someone, doesn’t give you the right to force them. Wake up, people. Everyone has the right to be who they want to be and everyone else has the right to interact with you based upon your decisions.

  • eddie says:

    Their sign that says “Buttercream” says it all!

  • howens says:

    good is bad and bad is good. Just another sign.

  • Anne says:

    I tried to publish two comments and both are not being published? Why?

  • fox 31 is a pro government supporter…

  • We are screwed unless we stand !!!

  • Werntis Haus says:

    Slurpie, where does the article say it is a “Christian Wedding Cake” business? I suspect it it actually were, the couple wouldn’t have gone there in the first place. Just as no one would go to a “Muslim” butcher and expect them to have pork products. Or a vegan restaurant and order steak. I also don’t believe the bakery would have much business if all cakes had scriptures on them. Most “Christians” like to talk the talk but not walk the walk. Can you imagine how well cakes with scriptures admonishing adultery would go over in today’s “Christian” households?

  • Boulder native says:

    Christians are such Hippocrates

  • Doomed says:

    The answer is to impeach or remove this judge for violating the civil rights of a business owner. Every business owner has the right to refuse service for whatever reason, and if they go out of business it is their choice, not the choice of a court or government to force their will on individuals.

    For all the christian hating atheists and gays, the fastest way to bring about more hate towards your minority movements is to bring about the opinion hammer of the majority. Surely you must realize the only reason society exists is because of Christians? We see how well all the pagan societies have fared. You cannot leave well enough alone and the time may come when people will scorn you again.

  • religion is a belief not the law. you agree to the laws when your open teh shop up. You cannot put a policy in place to deny someone services base of whom there marrying its illegal. religion is not an excuse to be a bigot. You people whom support this made should be ashamed of yourselfs. he violated the law end of story. He still has his religion beliefs.

  • No doomed you can’t refuses service to anyone no matter what you have to follow laws. he didn’t violate anyone right.

  • Here the problem He said he make them anything other than a wedding cake. that the issue right THERE!

  • Slurpie says:

    Werntis Haus,

    You make my point beautifully, and I thank you for your intellectual spasm. Scripture on traditional wedding cakes doesn’t have to be in color, it can be the same color as the frosting (only option), so guests might not notice, but the couple would know the scripture reference is there. A christian wedding cake company offers bible scripture on every cake, and there are No substitutes to the menu. Business would BOOM!

    What I suggested is a business model that a secular judge could not rule against, since this weird judge used the ‘dog wedding’ as his reason to rule against the business. Change the menu to include scripture on every cake.

    Taking your position to its obvious conclusion would mean that if homosexuality is a born trait (an irreversible genetic status), instead of a behavior (SIN), then you must also believe that the sexual behavior of pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, and incest are also born genetic traits, and to be consistent, you should then include pedophiles, necrophiliacs, marrying your dog, or sister within the same protected civil right status, or you are just a total phony with a mouth full of boloney.

  • Brandon Lee says:

    Wow….90% of you people here are awful human beings. and no I am not homosexual…but there is nothing wrong with that. All your comments are UGLY and DISGUST me. SHAME!! Most of you people here are 50+ years old….go figure. Christian hypocrites, the worst!!

  • Jeff Smith says:

    Remember when stores would put a little sign in their window”
    “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”
    That’s the way it should be in a free county.

  • Torqueflite says:

    See the movie “Giant,” which depicts Rock Hudson fighting an anti-Latino diner owner who throws out a Mexican family from the restaurant. After beating up Hudson pretty thoroughly the owner tosses his right-to-refuse sign on the prone Hudson. In the background plays “The Yellow Rose of Texas” on the jukebox, a song about a cowboy’s love for his mixed race girlfriend. Unmistakable irony and hypocrisy. The point is that if businesses are allowed to discriminate against entire classes of people, then none of us are either equal or free. Jim Crow is dead. That’s the way it should be in a free country.

  • eddie says:

    Let’s all put on our ‘Rock Hudson designer pants’–the ones with the zipper in the back.

  • George White says:

    There was once a time when it was perfectly okay to have colored bathrooms and water fountains and ban interracial marriage and make blacks sit at the back of the bus, too. Let’s stop dragging Jesus into this bigotry. He has nothing to do with it. Why are people still so ignorant in this day and age?? Have we learned nothing from history? The Bible was written during a completely different time and culture. Shall we also allow concubines and multiple wives and stoning sinners and crucifying religious leaders? That’s all in the Bible, too. Ugh!!! One day we’ll look back and be in complete disbelief that we treated our LGBT neighbors this way. Shame!

  • S2 says:

    Lets see, my wife a U of Metro Alum was passed by for the nursing program by students “of color” with lower grade point averages and that’s not discrimination? BS! Only discrimination if its against any other than white, used to be only males but not anymore.

  • eddie says:

    Marriage is a silly, outdated ritual, regardless of whether or not you are normal or a deviant, disease ridden pervert.

  • Sven says:

    When did bigoted discrimination become the “Christian” thing to do?

  • eddie says:

    It’s not bigotry. It’s standing up for decent, normal, worthwhile values. It’s standing against disgusting, filthy perversion. Has nothing to do with Christian B—S—.

  • Plain and Simple. Businesses, Corporations, etc ARE NOT PEOPLE!! If you want to operate a business in this Country, that was founded for religious freedom, then you are expected to offer your services to ALL law abiding citizens! You can have whatever religious beliefs you want but that does NOT apply to your business and therefore you cannot discriminate against potential customers on that basis.

  • Eric Hartsough says:

    need to find the location of the bakery so as to start doing business with the man.

  • js_biggs says:

    Gays have always made the best n@zis.

Comments are closed.