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Let them eat cake! Judge orders Colorado baker to serve gay couples

Posted by on Dec. 6, 2013 at 10:45 PM
  • 211 Replies
3 moms liked this

Judge orders Colorado baker to serve gay couples

Brennan Linsley / AP file

Dave Mullins, right, sits for a portrait with his husband Charlie Craig, in Denver.

By Ivan Moreno, The Associated Press

A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said Friday. 

The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple "because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage." 

The order says the cake-maker must "cease and desist from discriminating" against gay couples. Although the judge did not impose fines in this case, the business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay couples who want to buy cakes. 

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint against shop owner Jack Phillips with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission last year on behalf of Charlie Craig, 33, and David Mullins, 29. The couple was married in Massachusetts and wanted a wedding cake to celebrate in Colorado. 


Mullins and Craig wanted to buy a cake in July 2012, but when Phillips found out the cake was to celebrate a gay wedding, he turned the couple away, according to the complaint. 

 

Nicolle Martin, an attorney for Masterpiece Cakeshop, said the judge's order puts Phillips in an impossible position of going against his Christian faith. 

"He can't violate his conscience in order to collect a paycheck," she said. "If Jack can't make wedding cakes, he can't continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system. That is a reprehensible choice. It is antithetical to everything America stands for." 

The Civil Rights Commission is expected to certify the judge's order next week. Phillips can appeal the judge's order, and Martin said they're considering their next steps. 

Mullins said he and Craig are "ecstatic." 

"To a certain extent, though, I don't think that this is necessarily a surprise," he said. "We thought it was pretty clear cut that he had discriminated against us." 

Mullins said he hopes the "decision will help ensure that no one else will experience this kind of discrimination again in Colorado." 

A similar case is pending in Washington state, where a florist is accused of refusing service for a same-sex wedding. In New Mexico, the state Supreme Court ruled in August that an Albuquerque business was wrong to decline to photograph a same-sex couple's commitment ceremony. 

Colorado has a constitutional ban against gay marriage but allows civil unions. The civil union law, which passed earlier this year, does not provide religious protections for businesses. 

"At first blush, it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses," Judge Spencer said in his written order. "This view, however, fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are." 

ACLU attorney Amanda Goad said no one is asking Phillips to change his religious beliefs. 

"But treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination, plain and simple," she said. 

by on Dec. 6, 2013 at 10:45 PM
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Replies (1-10):
famiglia_bella
by on Dec. 6, 2013 at 10:50 PM
3 moms liked this

I think it's terrible that someone would turn someone away for a damn cake, but once they did that, I wouldn't want their cake anyway.  

shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 11:06 PM
4 moms liked this

 I agree, but I still like the decision

Quoting famiglia_bella:

I think it's terrible that someone would turn someone away for a damn cake, but once they did that, I wouldn't want their cake anyway.  

 

lga1965
by on Dec. 6, 2013 at 11:17 PM
4 moms liked this
That's good news. They shouldn't be rejected and treated like outsiders. If they want a cake,the baker should bake it with no hesitation.
I'm straight. I'd be creeped out if a,woman made a pass at me. I'm so straight. LOL. But my feelings are of no importance when equality and acceptance are needed. Everyone deserves happiness and if they want to get married and order a,wedding cake, why not do.it ? I'm glad the courts decided in favor of these guys !
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Godgaveme4
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 11:22 PM
1 mom liked this
That is sad.
shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 11:23 PM

 Crushing.

Quoting Godgaveme4: That is sad.

 

DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Dec. 6, 2013 at 11:58 PM
7 moms liked this

I have never understood refusing a customer for a cake or what have you of that nature, based on sexual choices. As a photographer, I can admit that there are things I have turned down. Like a naked wedding, or shooting a swing fest. No thank you. I just told them I wasn't comfortable doing it and gave them referrals to people who I know would do it. No one had an issue. I'll even admit that I hoped no one would ask me to shoot a gay wedding. I need to feel a connection to my work, and being honest, I know I wouldn't do my best work while trying to shoot a gay couple kissing. That's just how it is. It geeks me out. I can't help it. It's not that I am not happy for them, I just have an issue seeing 2 guys or women kissing, whatever. I'll be extra honest and  tell you I can handle seeing two women better than men. That just causes unpleasant reactions. 

It's not because I am against it, it's not because I harbor any hate. Not at all. I just can't stand to see men intimate with each other. Maybe it's the men I grew up with? I don't know. I do know that even as professional as I can be, my work would suffer because of my physical reaction, and that is not something I can change. Having said that, I haven't been asked to shoot a gay or lesbian wedding with one exception. My dear friend I grew up with finally came out when we were in our 20's. Most of us always knew. I did shoot his wedding and it was some of my best work, however, my connection was to him and I was able to draw off of that. My love for him came through. But I can't deny I cringe when they kiss. Again. I cannot help my physical reaction. 

If I was baker or something else that was not going to be intimately involved with said instance. I don't understand refusing the business. I do understand people who won't officiate, attend if it's against their faith, and those who like me, think they'd give less than their best if forced to provide said service. There are plenty of others who would be just as good and probably better, why would you want someone who admits this isn't their cup of tea? Why isn't okay to admit this isn't something they are comfortable with? Why would you push to hire someone that isn't interested? 

Why can't people be honest and just say, I'm not comfortable with doing this, and that's okay? I'm not saying being a jerk, I mean just being honest in a polite way.  Just because someone isn't comfortable providing a service for a different lifestyle than there own, doesn't mean they hate that person or are bigots. I don't discriminate against gay and lesbian couples, but their intimacy makes me seriously uncomfortable. That's just being honest. I won't even watch porn where any same sex couples are getting it on. 

I'm sure I'm going to get backlash for this, and that's okay. But be reasonable with your replys. I was being honest and not hateful. 

KaleaLani
by Bronze Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 11:58 PM
5 moms liked this
It is not the baker's job to judge the customer. It is his job to bake a freaking cake. It was discrimination and I'm glad it turned out the way it did. Still, I would probably take my future cake needs to a competing bakery just the same.
lizzielouaf
by Gold Member on Dec. 7, 2013 at 12:10 AM
1 mom liked this

I completely understand your point of view. You are not the first person, or last, to feel as you do. 

What it ultimately comes down to, for me, is the bakery is a public business. When you open your doors to the public, you must serve the public without discrimination. It's just part of the package when you are a business in a secular society and it's the law (current).

Regarding your level of comfort being less for a male couple as opposed to a female couple, I have heard this a lot. I think it has something to do with the act itself and how it seems more "violent" between two men than two women.  

Quoting DestinyHLewis:

I have never understood refusing a customer for a cake or what have you of that nature, based on sexual choices. As a photographer, I can admit that there are things I have turned down. Like a naked wedding, or shooting a swing fest. No thank you. I just told them I wasn't comfortable doing it and gave them referrals to people who I know would do it. No one had an issue. I'll even admit that I hoped no one would ask me to shoot a gay wedding. I need to feel a connection to my work, and being honest, I know I wouldn't do my best work while trying to shoot a gay couple kissing. That's just how it is. It geeks me out. I can't help it. It's not that I am not happy for them, I just have an issue seeing 2 guys or women kissing, whatever. I'll be extra honest and  tell you I can handle seeing two women better than men. That just causes unpleasant reactions. 

It's not because I am against it, it's not because I harbor any hate. Not at all. I just can't stand to see men intimate with each other. Maybe it's the men I grew up with? I don't know. I do know that even as professional as I can be, my work would suffer because of my physical reaction, and that is not something I can change. Having said that, I haven't been asked to shoot a gay or lesbian wedding with one exception. My dear friend I grew up with finally came out when we were in our 20's. Most of us always knew. I did shoot his wedding and it was some of my best work, however, my connection was to him and I was able to draw off of that. My love for him came through. But I can't deny I cringe when they kiss. Again. I cannot help my physical reaction. 

If I was baker or something else that was not going to be intimately involved with said instance. I don't understand refusing the business. I do understand people who won't officiate, attend if it's against their faith, and those who like me, think they'd give less than their best if forced to provide said service. There are plenty of others who would be just as good and probably better, why would you want someone who admits this isn't their cup of tea? Why isn't okay to admit this isn't something they are comfortable with? Why would you push to hire someone that isn't interested? 

Why can't people be honest and just say, I'm not comfortable with doing this, and that's okay? I'm not saying being a jerk, I mean just being honest in a polite way.  Just because someone isn't comfortable providing a service for a different lifestyle than there own, doesn't mean they hate that person or are bigots. I don't discriminate against gay and lesbian couples, but their intimacy makes me seriously uncomfortable. That's just being honest. I won't even watch porn where any same sex couples are getting it on. 

I'm sure I'm going to get backlash for this, and that's okay. But be reasonable with your replys. I was being honest and not hateful. 


famiglia_bella
by on Dec. 7, 2013 at 12:25 AM
2 moms liked this

I do too, I probably should have stated that.  It sends a strong message.  But I wouldn't give them my money just the same.

Quoting shannonnigans:

 I agree, but I still like the decision

Quoting famiglia_bella:

I think it's terrible that someone would turn someone away for a damn cake, but once they did that, I wouldn't want their cake anyway.  



DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Dec. 7, 2013 at 12:28 AM

Thank you for not attacking. I realize this is a secular society and to be honest? My feelings have zero to with my faith. My mom sent us to church, my dad is what I'd consider an agnostic, and I am married to an agnostic bordering on full blown atheist. Neither my husband or dad is comfortable with what we are talking about, and it has zero to do with religion. I'm a public business as a photographer. Does it make a differnce that my opinion, or feelings have nothing to do with faith? Would it be okay for an agnostic or atheist to just say they are uncomfortable with providing an intimate service for something they are not okay with doing? My issue is that I think everyone thinks this is a faith or religious issue. It's not. 

Yes, the people in this particular article had faith based issues, but I know plenty of people who are agnostic or atheist and they aren't interested in being a part of any of it. Would an agnostic business owner be treated the same? Is there a differnce between discrimination vs personal comfort (not based on a faith). 

Quoting lizzielouaf:

I completely understand your point of view. You are not the first person, or last, to feel as you do. 

What it ultimately comes down to, for me, is the bakery is a public business. When you open your doors to the public, you must serve the public without discrimination. It's just part of the package when you are a business in a secular society and it's the law (current).

Regarding your level of comfort being less for a male couple as opposed to a female couple, I have heard this a lot. I think it has something to do with the act itself and how it seems more "violent" between two men than two women.  

Quoting DestinyHLewis:

I have never understood refusing a customer for a cake or what have you of that nature, based on sexual choices. As a photographer, I can admit that there are things I have turned down. Like a naked wedding, or shooting a swing fest. No thank you. I just told them I wasn't comfortable doing it and gave them referrals to people who I know would do it. No one had an issue. I'll even admit that I hoped no one would ask me to shoot a gay wedding. I need to feel a connection to my work, and being honest, I know I wouldn't do my best work while trying to shoot a gay couple kissing. That's just how it is. It geeks me out. I can't help it. It's not that I am not happy for them, I just have an issue seeing 2 guys or women kissing, whatever. I'll be extra honest and  tell you I can handle seeing two women better than men. That just causes unpleasant reactions. 

It's not because I am against it, it's not because I harbor any hate. Not at all. I just can't stand to see men intimate with each other. Maybe it's the men I grew up with? I don't know. I do know that even as professional as I can be, my work would suffer because of my physical reaction, and that is not something I can change. Having said that, I haven't been asked to shoot a gay or lesbian wedding with one exception. My dear friend I grew up with finally came out when we were in our 20's. Most of us always knew. I did shoot his wedding and it was some of my best work, however, my connection was to him and I was able to draw off of that. My love for him came through. But I can't deny I cringe when they kiss. Again. I cannot help my physical reaction. 

If I was baker or something else that was not going to be intimately involved with said instance. I don't understand refusing the business. I do understand people who won't officiate, attend if it's against their faith, and those who like me, think they'd give less than their best if forced to provide said service. There are plenty of others who would be just as good and probably better, why would you want someone who admits this isn't their cup of tea? Why isn't okay to admit this isn't something they are comfortable with? Why would you push to hire someone that isn't interested? 

Why can't people be honest and just say, I'm not comfortable with doing this, and that's okay? I'm not saying being a jerk, I mean just being honest in a polite way.  Just because someone isn't comfortable providing a service for a different lifestyle than there own, doesn't mean they hate that person or are bigots. I don't discriminate against gay and lesbian couples, but their intimacy makes me seriously uncomfortable. That's just being honest. I won't even watch porn where any same sex couples are getting it on. 

I'm sure I'm going to get backlash for this, and that's okay. But be reasonable with your replys. I was being honest and not hateful. 



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