An anti-LGBT Colorado legislator is lending his support to a bakery owner who refused to decorate a customer’s cake with an anti-gay message.
“I agree with her,” said state Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt. “I stand by what she’s doing here.”
Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain and host of a right-wing Christian talk show who believes President Barack Obama is possessed by demons, said he would sponsor legislation that would protect the owner of a Denver bakery that was the subject of a discrimination complaint.
A customer — later identified by KDVR-TV as Bill Jack, founder of the evangelical Worldview Academy – filed the complaint after he said Azucar Bakery refused to honor his request to write “God hates (homosexuality)” on a cake he ordered.
“I’m not sure if I made the right decision [legally],” said bakery owner Marjorie Silva. “But it felt right to me as a person.”
Klingenschmitt, a Republican, said he also supported the right of other bakery owners to deny wedding cakes to same-sex couples on religious grounds.
“The government should not be able to compel bakers to print things that they disagree with,” Klingenschmitt said.
Silva suspects Jack targeted her bakery because she made a pro-equality statement to a Spanish-language outlet after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission upheld a court ruling against another bakery that refused to produce cakes for a legal same-sex wedding.
Klingenschmitt said the discrimination law allows the state to interfere with First Amendment rights, and he’s drafting a bill that would “repair an existing flaw” in the state’s anti-discrimination statutes.
“These laws have no religious or free speech exemptions,” Klingenschmitt said. “So right now there’s a loophole that’s allowing these bakers to be brought up on charges of discrimination. I think the loophole ought to be fixed so that every baker, every artist, every person in Colorado is not compelled by the government to produced anything they personally disagree with.”
Jack, who is also active in the creationist youth ministry The Caleb Campaign, declined to comment on the case because it was still pending, but he believes Silva discriminated against him “based on (his) creed.”