Colo. Baker Defends Anti-Gay Marriage Stance, Says Business is Booming
A baker and the owner of a cake shop outside of Denver, Colo., who denied to make a gay couple a wedding cake, is now defending his actions after being in the media spotlight, CBS News reported.
Last week, EDGE reported that Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Col., refused to create David Mullins, 28, and his partner Charlie Craig, 31, a wedding cake because he does not support same-sex marriage.
Philips told CBS News that he accepts LGBT employees and customers but does not back gay marriage and would rather shut down his business than sell his wedding cakes to a same-sex couple.
"If it came to that point, we would close down the bakery before we would compromise our beliefs, so that may be what it comes to," Phillips said. "We'll see. If gays come in and want to order birthday cakes or any cakes for any occasion, graduations, or whatever, I have no prejudice against that whatsoever. It's just the wedding cake -- not the people, not their lifestyle."
Calling himself "a follower of Jesus Christ," he told Fox affiliate KDVR that he believes the Bible teaches that homosexuality "is not an OK thing." According to KDVR, Phillips, who started his bakery in 1993, has denied about six gay couples wedding cakes.
Mullins and Craig wanted a rainbow-layered cake with teal frosting for their wedding reception, which will be held in Denver. The couple plans to get married in Provincetown, Mass.
"It was the most awkward, surreal, very brief encounter," Mullins told Denver Westword. "We got up to leave, and to be totally honest, I said, 'Fuck you and your homophobic cake shop.' And I may or may not have flipped him off."
Mullins reportedly ranted about the incident on Facebook, which caused several news outlets to pick up the story. A Facebook page called "Boycott Masterpiece Cakeshop" was created and currently has nearly 500 members. The Denver Business Journal reported that gay rights activists and their supporters held a protest in front of the bakery.
Despite all of the negative attention and even death threats, Phillips told KDVR that the incident has helped his generate business.
"There are people coming in to support us." He had twice as much business as usual on July 30, he added.
After being denied the wedding cake, Mullins and Craig decided to go to the "gayest cake shop we could think of," which was Le Bakery Sensual in Denver. Mullins added that he was deeply gratified by all of the support he has received from people around the world. "It's kind of one of those things that restores your faith in humanity," he said.
Although Colorado does not recognize same-sex marriage, it does have anti-discrimination laws that protect on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, education and credit.
Conservative Christians point to this and similar incidents where a business has comes fire for turning down gay wedding clients as a sign that anti-discriminaton laws will be used to persecute them for their beliefs.
After the website Life Site News reported the story, a reader commented, "Threats and violence are the way homosexual activists discredit their cause."
A similar incident occurred in June when a professional photographer from New Mexico had to pay to nearly $7,000 in legal for refusing to take pictures of a gay couple's commitment ceremony in 2006 and broke the state's anti-discrimination laws.
A photographer from Elane Photography would not take photos of the same-sex couple's wedding ceremony and subsequently violated New Mexico's Human Rights Act, the Associated Press reported.