The owner of a Colorado bakery discriminated against a gay couple when he refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, violating the state’s anti-discrimination law, a state appeals court determined Thursday.
The Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, and its owner Jack Phillips were sued by Charlie Craig and David Mullins after Phillips refused to make a cake for their same-sex wedding celebration.
"Charlie and David sued, making clear that it's not about the cake – it's about being told 'we don’t serve your kind here,'" the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a statement after the court decision
Phillips’ attorney argued the case wasn’t about discrimination, but about Phillips’ right to religious freedom. Along with his decision to avoid making cakes for gay weddings, Phillips also does not make Halloween cakes because he associates that holiday with the devil.
“Cake decorating is his medium for creating art and they are compelling him to engage in artistic expression that violates his beliefs,” Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, told The New York Times
However, a state appeals court didn’t agree, saying instead in its ruling
that Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.
The bakery and Phillips contended that they were not discriminating against Craig and Mullins because of their sexual orientation, but rather refused to make the cake because of opposition to same-sex marriage, the court documents said. Phillips told the couple he would be happy to sell them other baked goods.
“We conclude that the act of same-sex marriage is closely correlated to Craig’s and Mullins’ sexual orientation, and therefore, the ALJ (administrative law judge) did not err when he found that Masterpiece’s refusal to create a wedding cake for Craig and Mullins was ‘because of’ their sexual orientation, in violation of CADA,” the appeals court said.
“I think that the ruling is wrong … the constitution guarantees me the right to practice my faith, my religion, anywhere, anytime; there are no restrictions on it,” Phillips told CBS Denver
. “It also gives me the right to free speech, anytime, anywhere. I don’t surrender those rights when I open my doors.”
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.