Colorado Supreme Court won’t hear baker’s appeal over same-sex wedding cakes

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The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, was in violation of the state's Anti-Discrimination Act by refusing to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple.

DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the case of a Lakewood baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The decision upholds a ruling by the Colorado Court of Appeals last summer that found Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips cannot cite religious beliefs or free-speech rights in refusing to make a wedding case for a same-sex couple.

David Mullins and Charlie Craig approached the bakery in 2012. Phillips said it was against his religious beliefs to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony, and said he had turned down other couples on religious grounds.

In 2013, Judge Robert N. Spencer of the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts ruled Phillips broke discrimination laws.

In May 2014, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission found the bakery was in violation of the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act.

Phillips appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which heard the case in July 2015, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

“We reject Masterpiece’s related argument that its willingness to sell birthday cakes, cookies, and other non-wedding cake products to gay and lesbian customers establishes that it did not violate (the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act),” the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled last year in a 66-page ruling.

“Masterpiece’s potential compliance with CADA in this respect does not permit it to refuse services to Craig and Mullins that it otherwise offers to the general public.”