DENVER — Officials in Colorado have ruled in favor of a baker who refused to decorate two Bible-shaped cakes that featured messages and images against homosexuality, finding that she did not discriminate against the Christian who placed the order.
William Jack of Castle Rock visited Azucar Bakery in Denver last March, at which time he placed an order for two cakes, both of which were to be shaped like Bibles. The first was to have read, “God hates sin. Psalm 45:7” and “Homosexuality is a detestable sin. Leviticus 18:22” and the second was to have stated “God loves sinners” and “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.” Both cakes were to feature an image of two groomsmen with an “x” through them “to illustrate that such a union is unacceptable biblically.”
Marjorie Silva, the owner, told Jack that she would bake the cakes, but would not write the Bible verses on them nor place the images on the cakes. She instead offered to give Jack a pastry bag and icing so that he could decorate the cakes himself.
Silva, a Roman Catholic, told reporters that she declined to fulfill the order because she found the text and images requested to be “hateful and offensive.”
“It’s just horrible,” she said. “If he wants to hate people, he can hate them not here in my bakery.”
Following Silva’s refusal, Jack filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, alleging discrimination based on his Christian beliefs.
But on Friday, the Division ruled that there was “insufficient evidence” to support Jack’s claim that he was being treated unfairly. It said that Silva had a right to refuse the order because the decoration requested was deemed “derogatory” and that Silva would refuse all “derogatory” cakes to anyone.
The division stated that “in the very same manner [Silva] would not accept [an order from] anybody wanting to make a discriminatory cake against Christians, [she] will not make one that discriminates against gays.”
Jack said that he plans to appeal the ruling.
“I find it offensive that the Colorado Civil Rights Division considers the baker’s claims that Bible verses were discriminatory as the reason for denying my claim,” he told KMGH-TV Saturday. “I find it offensive that the legal director of the Colorado division of the ACLU called the Bible verses on the cakes obscenities. Especially at this time on the church calendar, I find it offensive that the Bible is censored from the public arena.”
But Jack says that he placed the order and filed the complaint to make a point that business owners should have the right to operate in accordance with their conscience and convictions, and that if bakers have the right to refuse cakes against homosexuality, Christians should also have a right to decline cakes in favor of homosexuality.
“I believe the baker should have the right to deny me service if my request violates her conscience or creed,” he told the Christian Post in January. “[But] this statute is being applied inequitably; it so far is only being applied against Christians … If we do not have liberty for all, then we have liberty for none.”