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Bakery gets discrimination complaint over refusal to write anti-gay messages on cake

Bakery gets discrimination complaint over refusal to write anti-gay messages on cake

DENVER — A Colorado bakery is the target of a discrimination complaint after declining to decorate a wedding cake with anti-gay slurs.

Azuvar Bakery in Denver, Colo.
Azuvar Bakery in Denver, Colo.

Out Front Colorado reports the complaint, filed with Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) by an unidentified customer, stems from an incident at Denver’s Azucar Bakery on March 13, 2014.

Out Front recaps the incident in an interview with Azucar owner Marjorie Silva and pastry chef Lindsay Jones:

The gentleman took a seat at one of the tables as the team served him free samples and began building his order. He swiped through pics of Bible cakes on the iPad they presented him, and it appeared he’d found the perfect fit. It was only when he produced a leaf of paper from his pocket — careful not to release it to any of the attending employees, but simply brandishing it for them to read before returning it to his pocket — that the order “got a little uncomfortable,” says Jones.

“He wanted us to write God hates …” she trails. “Just really radical stuff against gays.”

“He wouldn’t allow me to make a copy of the message, but it was really hateful,” Silva adds. “I remember the words detestable, disgrace, homosexuality, and sinners.”

However uncomfortable the request made the pair, both maintain that he was never refused service.

“I told him that I would bake the cake in the shape of a Bible,” says Silva. “Then I told him I’d sell him a [decorating] bag with the right tip and the right icing so he could write those things himself.” She adds that naturally the cake wouldn’t have her handwriting expertise, but she would be devastated to release a cake via the bakery with such a hateful message fashioned by her own hands.

Table-side negotiations quickly broke down. “He told me I needed to talk to my attorney about this,” Silva says. Then, he left.

Silva says the customer returned a few hours later asking her if she conferred with her lawyer over the matter. She hadn’t.

“I was busy,” she says. “I have a business to run here,” says Silva, noting that it was clear the man was comfortable creating a scene.

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After the customer returned for a third time that day, he was asked to leave. “I think he was looking for trouble at that point,” says Jones.

Silva says she is confused as to why her bakery was chosen to make the anti-gay cake, but says it could have stemmed from a pro-equality statement she gave to a news outlet in the wake of a complaint and decision against another bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop.

In that case, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission upheld a judge’s ruling that a Lakewood, Colo., bakery was guilty of discrimination when the owners refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding.

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