Lakewood, Colorado – A Christian baker is facing discrimination charges before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for declining to bake a wedding cake for two homosexual men.
As previously reported, Dave Mullin and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood last July to look for options for their upcoming same-sex ceremony, but were advised by owner Jack Phillips that he does not accommodate those types of requests.
“My first comment was, ‘We’re getting married,’ and he just shut that down immediately,” Craig, 31, stated.
Phillips told Christian News Network that he does not make cakes for such occasions because of his Christian convictions.
“I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, and I believe that the relationship is not something that He looks favorably on,” the master pastry chef stated. “If Jesus was a carpenter, He wouldn’t make a bed for this union.”
Phillips, who attends a Baptist church, explained that when he informed Mullin and Craig that his bakery does not make cakes for same-sex “weddings,” the men immediately left. He stated that one of them made a comment on his way out the door that the bakery was a “homophobic cake shop.”
Mullin, 28, indicated to Denver Westward that is indeed what took place.
“It was the most awkward, surreal, very brief encounter,” he stated. “We got up to leave, and to be totally honest, I said, ‘(expletive) and your homophobic cake shop.’ And I may or may not have flipped him off.”
Phillips said that approximately twenty minutes later, the phone began ringing with complaints. Christians across the country have also contacted the baker to express support.
Recently, Mullin and Craig filed charges with the Colorado Human Rights Commission, which has now requested the names and sexual orientation of all of Phillips’ employees.
“They are also charging me with not providing a product that is for an illegal occasion. It’s against Colorado law for people of the same sex to marry,” Phillips stated. “Also, the law that I’m breaking violates my First Amendment right to practice freedom of religion.”
Colorado law prohibits business owners from refusing to provide services in a “place of public accommodation” to anyone based on their sexual orientation.
Phillips is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a nationally-recognized Christian legal organization that provides free representation to people of faith. He says that he is going to continue to fight the charges, even though it may be an “uphill battle.”
“If you back down on your faith in Christ, then you have nothing to stand for,” Phillips said. “[Business owners] need to put their trust in Jesus Christ. He demands everything from them: their lives, their business [and every aspect of what they do].”
Similar complaints and lawsuits are being filed across the country against Christian businesses, including florists, bed and breakfast owners and t-shirt printers. As previously reported, last June, a photographer in New Mexico was forced to pay a fine of $7,000 and advised by the New Mexico Court of Appeals that she must shoot homosexual “weddings” according to state law in spite of her Christian convictions. She had declined to assist two lesbians that were seeking her services for a same-sex ceremony.