Colorado Bakery Won't Make Wedding Cakes for Gay Couples
Masterpiece Bakery and its owner Jack Phillips in Lakewood, CO (just west of Denver) are engulfed in a storm of controversy after Phillips told a gay couple picking out their wedding cake he wouldn't make one for them because he doesn't support gay marriage.
Philips claims he isn't discriminating against gays, he will make them birthday cakes or cakes for any other occasion besides a marriage.
Phillips is taking a beating on Facebook and even on Yelp. A large protest is scheduled for next Saturday. Phillips doesn't seem to be fazed.
We would close down that bakery before we closed our beliefs, so that may be what it comes to … we’ll see,” Phillips said.
There are plenty of other bakeries in Lakewood. Elegant Bakeries has won lots of awards for its wedding cakes and is family owned and operated. There's also Et Cetera Gourmet and Cakes by Karen. Masterpiece's discrimination is unacceptable. [More...]
Update: It seems Masterpiece is violating Colorado law which prohibits retail businesses from discriminating against people because of sexual orientation or marital status, among other reasons.
The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act provides:
Places of public accommodation may not deny any person participation, entry, or services based upon the personís sexual orientation, including transgender status.
... A public accommodation is any place of business engaged in offering sales or services of any kind to the public, as well as any place offering facilities, privileges, advantages or other accommodations to the public. Typical examples of public accommodations include, but are not limited to, hotels, restaurants, stores, hospitals, clinics, and health clubs.
"place of public accommodation" means any place of business engaged in any sales to the public and any place offering services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to the public, including but not limited to any business offering wholesale or retail sales to the public;
...(2) It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, issue, display, post, or mail any written, electronic, or printed communication, notice, or advertisement that indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from, or denied an individual or that an individual's patronage or presence at a place of public accommodation is unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.
1) Any person who violates section 24-34-601 shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each violation. A person aggrieved by the violation of section 24-34-601 shall bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction in the county where the violation occurred. Upon finding a violation, the court shall order the defendant to pay the fine to the aggrieved party.
(2) For each violation of section 24-34-601, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than three hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
I wonder what happens if multiple gay couples now request wedding cakes from Masterpiece, are denied, and each files a complaint.
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