Commission Upholds Order That Christian Baker Must Make Cakes for ‘Gay Weddings’

Cake pdDENVER — The Colorado Civil Rights Commission has upheld an administrative judge’s ruling that a Christian baker in the state must service same-sex ‘weddings’ despite his biblical beliefs not to be a partaker in other men’s sins.

 As previously reported, Dave Mullin and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colorado 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.”

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.”

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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, who also declines to make Halloween cookies at his bakery, had told the men that he would be happy to make them any other type of baked goods outside of having to facilitate the ceremony, which he believed was a form of personal participation.

However, Mullin and Craig then filed charges with the Colorado Human Rights Commission with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In December, Judge Robert Spencer sided with the ACLU, contending that Phillips should have made the cake because he was not told that there would be any words or symbols written on it.

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

On Friday, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission upheld Spencer’s ruling, stating that Phillips violated the state’s civil rights law.

“I can believe anything I want, but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people,” Commissioner Raju Jaram said.

According to the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which has been representing Phillips in court, the baker was ordered to prove that he has complied with the order to make cakes for same-sex ceremonies.  But Phillips said that he will not comply.

“I will stand by my convictions until somebody shuts me down,” he told the Associated Press.

“In America, we don’t separate a person’s creative expression from what he believes,” attorney Nicolle Martin also remarked in a statement following the ruling. “Jack simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic and creative talents to promote a message with which he disagrees. Because the government should not force him to choose between his faith and his livelihood, we are considering an appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals.”

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  • Linda Adcox

    The same thing happened to a bakery in Gresham, OR. He had to close the doors on his bakery for good. Bless them both for not compromising their beliefs.

  • A business is not a church. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a bakery or a restaurant, a photo studio or a factory. They aren’t in the business of providing spiritual guidance or enforcing moral doctrines. They are there to turn a profit. As such, they are obligated to abide by prevailing civil rights laws, whether those laws protect people from discrimination based on race, religion, or sexual orientation.

    Conservative columnist Erick Erickson came to the defense of Christian business owners: “Committed Christians believe in a doctrine of vocation. They believe that their work is a form of ministry. Through their work, they can share the gospel and glorify God.”

    Oh, and also rake in as much money as possible. You can wax poetic all you want about “glorifying God,” but at the end of the day these businesses wouldn’t exist were it not for the profit motive.

    Should a restaurant owner be able to refuse service to Blacks because he has “moral objections” to race-mixing? Should an employer be able to fire a Muslim employee because he wants to run “a nice Christian workplace”? And if a Christian florist agrees to provide flower arrangements at a Muslim couple’s wedding, does it mean he is necessarily endorsing Islam?

    If the answer to these questions is NO, what justification is there refusing service to a Gay couple who wish to get a wedding cake or celebrate their anniversary in a restaurant?

    • Leigh

      God forbid a Christian have a business and want to make a profit! Being gay is a choice unlike being black-which is a God-given trait.

    • chris

      Being a business, Christian or not is about profit. It should never enter the scope of law regardless if it is race, sexuality, or dress code. Refusing service should be their right and the offended has a right to boycott and call for boycott. The argument of civil rights was neccary when no other viable options excisted. All races now have the means and support to forge their own paths. Everybody will not agree but the biggest weakness we have as a nation is the resounding dependence on gonverment to fix are problems. We as a people should stand together with like minded groups of people and make the changes we would like to see ourselves. Accepting and respecting that we will never have everything we want. Grow up America.

  • rolando sanchez

    Stand with the Christian faith till the Lord returns.

  • Missouri Bob

    I wonder what would happen if the baker just went to the grocery store and bought a box of cake mix. Then made the cake from that. Would the baker be sued because they did not put enough of their heart and feelings into the cake?

  • Michael

    Christians answer to a higher authority than “civil law”. We are called to obey the law’s of the authorities above us unless it contradicts God’s law. No amount of argument can change that. There’s plenty of non-Christian businesses’ out there, choose one but don’t try to force Christians to compromise their religious beliefs.

    Why don’t we see multiple law suites against the thousands of places that post signs stating, “No shirt, no shoes, no business”, or “We reserve the right to refuse business to anyone.”?

    Christians are targeted because we refuse to get in line and support that which God calls sin.

    The very people screaming for equality and tolerance are the same people who refuse to have tolerance.

    As a Christian we are called to love everyone, even our enemy, but that doesn’t mean supporting their sin.