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Gay couple pursuing discrimination complaint against Colo. bakery

Thursday, June 6, 2013

DENVER — A gay couple is pursuing a discrimination complaint against a Colorado bakery, saying the business refused them a wedding cake to honor their ceremony and alleging that the owners have a history of turning away same-sex couples.

Brennan Linsley, AP
Dave Mullins (right) with his husband Charlie Craig.

The case highlights a growing tension between gay rights advocates and supporters of religious freedom as more states move to legalize same-sex marriage and civil unions. Nationwide, 12 states now allow gay marriage.

David Mullins and Charlie Craig filed the discrimination complaint against Jack Phillips after visiting his Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., last year. The couple says Phillips told them he wouldn’t make a cake for them when he found out it was to celebrate their wedding in Colorado after they got married in Massachusetts.

Phillips has said making a wedding cake for gay couples would violate his Christian religious beliefs, according to the complaint.

The Colorado Attorney General’s office filed a formal complaint last week after the American Civil Liberties Union initiated the process last year.

“We are all entitled to our religious beliefs and we fight for that,” said Mark Silverstein, the legal director of the ACLU in Colorado. “But someone’s personal religious beliefs don’t justify breaking the law by discriminating against others in the public sphere.”

The ACLU said it found out about two other gay couples who had been refused a wedding cake from the same shop.

The attorney for Phillips said she sees it differently.

“At its heart, this is a case about conscience,” said Nicolle Martin. “I just don’t think that we should heighten one person’s beliefs over and above another person’s beliefs,” she added.

Mullins said he vented his frustration on Facebook and was surprised at how “the story ended up catching fire.”

The complaint seeks to force the bakery to “cease and desist” the practice of refusing wedding cakes for gay couples, and to tell the public that their business is open to everyone.

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14 more reader comments:

  1. As unscrupulous as it may be, it is their bakery.

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 3:26pm
  2. Why as gay people would we patronize these people I personally don’t want to give creeps like this one dime of my damn money

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 3:32pm
  3. Hopefully people read this and stop shopping at his place to shut him down so he cant say no to anybody or couple

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 3:32pm
  4. That same mentality had restraunts with “Whites only” policy. It’s wrong to refuse service due to minority status. Also, if someone else’s love life is the litmus test of your morality, maybe you spend too much time minding other people’s business.

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 3:33pm
  5. Boycott and or picket the place, yelp it as a bad place that discriminates and sue the Hateful bastards !

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 3:34pm
  6. The owners of the bakery need to come to their senses (what little they may have) and realize they live in the USA in 2013! You are open for business for everyone, not just those that believe the same way you do!

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 3:39pm
  7. What brunch of idiots!!!

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 3:41pm
  8. Boycott and praise the bakeries that offer their services to same sex couples. help them to advertise in general. Let the homophobes and narrow minded have their bakery!

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 3:45pm
  9. taking a moral stance via confections, what idiots! bake the shit and mind your own business. being in colorado it probably stinks anyway.

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 3:55pm
  10. They are so cute! Who could say no to those faces?

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 4:07pm
  11. And Colorado State law prohibits what THEIR bakery did.

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 4:08pm
  12. You can’t change God’s law but God’s law is different than American law. Even if you follow God’s teachings you are still an American citizen and you are to obey and respect the law because we are talking about American law. Nowhere in the Bible does it say anything about denying a gay couple business.

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 4:46pm
  13. Then go somewhere else.

    Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 5:23pm
  14. I hope they sue the pants off this religious a-hole.

    Posted on Friday, June 7, 2013 at 8:34am