Colorado Judge Orders Christian Baker to Make Cakes for Same-Sex Ceremonies or Face Fines

PhillipDENVER — An administrative law judge with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission has ordered a baker to make cakes for clients who request service for same-sex ceremonies, despite his Christian beliefs not to partake in another man’s sins.

“Respondents have no free speech right to refuse because they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech. … It is not the same as forcing a person to pledge allegiance to the government or to display a motto with which they disagree,” wrote Judge Robert N. Spencer in his ruling on Friday, ordering the baker to “cease and desist” under the threat of fines.

As previously reported, Dave Mullin and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood in July 2012 to look for options for their upcoming same-sex ceremony celebration. As Colorado has a constitutional amendment enshrining marriage as being between a man and a woman, the men planned to travel to Massachusetts and then return to Colorado for a separate celebration.

However, after their arrival at the cake shop, Mullin and Craig were advised by owner Jack Phillips that he does not make cakes for same-sex ceremonies.

“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.”

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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.”

Mullin and Craig then filed charges with the Colorado Human Rights Commission, which heard the case this week. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represented the men, and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) affiliate Nicolle Martin represented Phillips.

The ACLU asserted that Phillip’s faith did not give him a “license to discriminate,” while Martin argued that Phillips’ obedience to God encompassed his business practices. According to reports, Phillips was willing to serve the men, but drew the line when it came to facilitating their ceremony. Martin told commentator Todd Starnes that Phillips also declines to make Halloween cookies at his bakery, so his beliefs are lived out in more than one aspect.

But Judge Spencer sided with the ACLU on Friday, contending that Phillips should have made the cake because he was not told that there would be any words or symbols written on it—and that is what would make the difference in the eyes of the law.

“Phillips was not asked to apply any message or symbol to the cake, or to construct the cake in any fashion that could be reasonably understood as advocating same-sex marriage,” he wrote. “For all Phillips knew at the time, Complainants might have wanted a nondescript cake that would have been suitable for consumption at any wedding. Therefore, Respondents’ claim that they refused to provide a cake because it would convey a message supporting same-sex marriage is specious.”

“The act of preparing a cake is simply not ‘speech’ warranting First Amendment protection,” Spencer asserted.

Following the ruling, the ACLU applauded Spencer’s decision.

“No one is asking Masterpiece’s owners to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple,” said attorney Amanda Goad.

But ADF attorney Nicole Martin said that faith is about living out God’s commandments in obedience, not merely formulating an opinion or belief.

“America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs,” she told reporters. “Forcing Americans to promote ideas against their will undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression and our right to live free.”

“If the government can take aware our First Amendment freedoms, there is nothing it can’t take away,” Martin said.

Appeal options are now being considered.

Photo: Fox 29

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  • Tabitha

    It’s time America re-clarified the Constitution about freedom of speech. It’s beginning to look like, only Gay people have rights these days!

    • Nicolas

      It always amuse me when christians do not get their way they cry/whine out that it as a warrrrr on christianity not for what it is which is e-q-u-a-l-i-t-y. Ironically, the arguments against gay marriage were those against interracial marriage which most righteous, god fearing christians were vehemently against. If you believe in equality of every citizen then everyone does have rights most especially in a secular society. Now, if this was a theocracy, you could easily pas your homophobic laws, stone people for whatever your leader decides that would be law…take a look at saudi arabia for example. And you Tabitha as a woman would not have many rights for if you take a literal view of the bible, here is one passage for you about how woman must shut-up and listen to the man 1 tim 2:12…the bible is full of misogynists passages since it was written after all by perverted, misogynists men. have a good day 🙂

  • Mary Waterton

    Homosexuality today.
    Polygamy, incest, pedophilia tomorrow.
    All done in the name of “equality”.

    Mark my prophetic words … it will happen. Legalization of one “sexual orientation” naturally leads to others.

    • Nicolas

      Let us see Ms. Waterton with your cause and effect statements which is completely tenuous. So, no need to argue with your ‘sound’ logic therefore, I will just ask you this: god created adam and eve who had children. their children must had had incestuous relationships if the world was to be populated–so, by your standards, mine and most people, this god is sick–incest is absolutely repugnant! Statistically, the more conservatively religious one is augments the chances of paedophilia which we see in many conservative religions. By the way dear, was not polygamy permitted in the old testament: Several prominent men in the Old Testament were polygamists. Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others all had multiple wives and did not Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines–my my, speaking about gluttons. The book (bible is just another word for it) is nothing more than fiction written by old perverted, misogynist men to have their way with as many women as they could, to control and manipulate the naive sheep who blindly follow them. Logic and reasoning will set you free, poor lost soul 🙂

      • Rich

        Maybe God gave a grace period? Who knows, wih Him all things are possible. But the human race has certainly degenerated, if not just in social norms these past few years.

      • Rich

        Just because something appears in the Bible doesn’t mean it condones it. Murder and theft occur there as well. One thing the Bible does is hold up a mirror to the human race, and we see ourselves for what we are. As far as your belief that the Bible is myth, all I can say is study it in the light of historical and archaeological evidence and discoveries. You’ll see how solid it really is.

    • Webb

      Don’t forget bestiality. That’s one of their next frontiers for “equal rights” and non-discrimination.

  • Hugh Jorgan

    I’m not saying this guy was right or wrong but don’t businesses reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason? I see signs posted in businesses all over saying that.

    • Shelley

      I agree. “No shirt. No shoes. No service.”

  • Mary

    My Bible the KJV teaches us of a male and female Adam and Eve in the garden not two male Adam and Steve. Read your Bible it is being fulfilled more and more everyday. I think everyone has the right to choose who and who not to serve. These guys should have just went some where else after knowing how this owner feels about same sex marriages. It’s that simple, we should not try to push others to except others way of life and how they choose to live it…

    • Nicolas

      KJV, you ought to look into the reason for which King James of England had the bible translated again…adam and steve, oh please, is that the best you can do but indeed, it was adam and eve and did not god say that he created woman because it was not good for man to be alone? woman was created from man and must be submissive to men–that is what the bible teaches for there are many biblical passages anti women,e.g. 1 tim 2:12. So back to adam and eve. Their children had incestuous relationships, no? Because, how else would the world populated if there were only adam and eve for we know adam and steve could not procreate nor eve and yvette…so, either there were incestuous relationships or the bible is erroneaous. Please tell me which one it is please, thank you.

    • bonita crawford

      I totally agree with you Mary

  • James J. Grimes

    It’s already happening. A gay man that I had talked with was advocating legalizing sex with boys as young as 13. I don’t know if he was engaged in the practice – I think not, but he wanted to take gay rights further.

    BTW, he disavowed any Christian ethics, saying that what was in the Bible did not apply to his kind, and was totally in favor of being allowed to perform other deviant acts.

    Open the door an inch and someone is going to break it off its hinges. Sexual desires are difficult to control when they are the focus of one’s life.

    There has to be more to life than this.

    • Nicolas

      You ought to take a logic course and a statistic one as well. It is not because one person you claim to have spoken with represent a cohort. Hence, it is not because a person or a handful which to pass a law on something that is reprehensible means that everyone believes in that. there are a minority of heterosexual Christian men who would like to pass the same laws for girls. Now, I would give you the benefit of the doubt that you would not want such a law to pass. Sex must be between two consenting adults! I, personally, do not give a dillie doo what consenting adults do in private but call me crazy if that seems that peoples’ business is none of my business and if they want to get marry, so be it.

  • Bryan

    offer your pinch of spice of face jail or death, NOW, ignore what your christian faith clearly teaches to be a sin or face fines.. WHICH ONE would you choose? it comers down to this in both cases, “THE GOVERNMENT COMMANDS YOU TO DENY YOUR FAITH”…

    • Rich

      The Bible tells us to obey the laws unless those laws tell us to do something against God’s law, which is higher. Unfortunately a lot of Christians would cave. Imagine the situation Christians faced in Nazi Germany. If they were caught harboring the Jews, they’d be sent to the concentration camps. So those Christians had to either obey Hitler, who wanted the Jews turned in, or shelter and help the Jews, which is what God would demand of them. This is a strong example of what Christians are beginning to face in this country, where laws passed by our own government are telling them to either compromise their Christian beliefs or face fines etc. It is happening to bakers, photographers, T-shirt makers, Christians all across the country. This is wrong; we are supposed to have protections under the First Amendment.

    • Rich

      I can only add my support to what I think you are saying.

  • Rich

    I want to put a perspective on this that I have not seen Christians or non-Christians make. In the Bible, all wrongs, or sins, are considered of equal weight. God sees them all as dark – in fact, can’t look upon them. Taking this view, adultery is the same as theft is the same as child abuse is the same as racism is the same as murder is the same as lying etc. Homosexuality is considered a sin, so it’s in that list. Now, what if someone wanted this baker to make a cake celebrating a murder, or a bank robbery, or white supremacy? The baker would refuse these as well, and I’m sure he’d say he would refuse based on his Christian beliefs – he’d say “It’s not right”. Most of us would agree. I am sure this would rankle many, but I am only making the point that this baker is rightfully following his Christian beliefs, and tthat to force him to go against those beliefs is a violation of conscience and the Bill of Rights.

  • Mark

    A 4-worded comment: OVER MY DEAD BODY! A judge will have to kill me first before demanding I make a deviant cake or violate my religious freedom.

  • MMjohn

    What a crock. – Everyone has certain “rights.” But another’s “rights” end, where the next person’s “rights” begin. These homosexuals are trying to convince the world that they have the “right to abuse,” and the “right to force and shove” their personal lifestyle down the throats of others. This is America, Jack Phillips has had his “rights” (Christian) severely violated, and that is very, very, “wrong.”
    As a United States Naval Veteran, I did not serve my country (which believe me, was no “cakewalk”) for garbage like this.