Denver cake shop owner refuses to end same sex wedding ban

By Eric W. Dolan
Sunday, August 5, 2012 11:14 EDT
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[Same sex wedding cake via Shutterstock]
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The owner of a Denver area bakery has refused to make cake for same sex weddings because of his religion, despite a public outcry.

“I’m not going to change my business because of a petition,” Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, told the Denver Post. “I’m just going to do the best I can do to honor Jesus Christ.”

Phillips received more than 4200 petitions on Saturday urging him to provide cakes for same sex couples after he told David Mullin and Charlie Craig that his business would not provide a cake for them. The two men have been in a committed relationship for nearly two years and are getting married soon in Massachusetts. They are holding a local reception party near Denver.

“As soon as the owner realized the cake was for our wedding reception, he quickly informed us that his business did not provide cakes for gay wedding,” the two men wrote in a statement. “A long silence followed as we realized that we were being denied service only because of our sexuality, after which we rose and left. This moment was offensive, dehumanizing, awkward, and quite painful.”

Outraged, Mullin and Craig posted their story to Facebook.

“A few hours later, we discovered that our story had become viral, that boycotts were being planned, that phone calls were being made, that e-mails were sent, and that shit had clearly hit the fan,” they explained. “As gay men, we have been the recipients of many types of discrimination at various points in our lives, but this was the first time that either of us had ever been turned away from a business because of our sexuality.”

Phillips said this was not the first time he had refused to make a cake for a same sex wedding. But he insisted he would make cakes for LGBT individuals for other occasions, like birthdays and graduations. “It’s just the wedding cake, not the people, not their lifestyle,” he told CBS Denver.

“When I do a cake for a first birthday party, I imagine the family gathered around taking pictures and laughing. When I do a graduation cake, I think of all the hard work it took to get them there,” he later explained to the Denver Post. “I feel like I’m part of the celebration, and I can’t take part in that kind of celebration [for a same-sex wedding].”

Colorado has not recognized same sex marriages since 2006, when voters approved a ballot measure that stated marriage was solely the union of a man and woman.

[Same sex wedding cake via Shutterstock]

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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