A gay couple in Colorado got their cake, and they plan to eat it too. In a story that sets two protected rights in opposition to one another, a judge ruled that a cake shop cannot refuse to bake wedding cakes to same-sex couples, despite the owner’s religious beliefs.
The story, reported on Friday by Fox News, said Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver, can no longer turn away gay couples. Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer said Phillips will face fines if he continues to refuse wedding orders from same-sex couples.
In a ruling that civil rights groups are hailing as a victory for gays, Judge Spencer said the two homosexual men who brought the case forward were “discriminated against.”
David Mullins and Charlie Craig went to the Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. Phillips allegedly denied the men their order, saying that because of his religious beliefs, his conscience would not allow him to bake a wedding cake. He offered to make them any other baked item, but the pair refused, later filing a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
“The undisputed facts show that Respondents (Phillips) discriminated against Complainants because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage,” Judge Spencer wrote.
“Being denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop was offensive and dehumanizing especially in the midst of arranging what should be a joyful family celebration,” Mullins said. “No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado agreed, saying in a statement that “No one is asking Masterpiece’s owner to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple.”
The attorney representing Phillips, Nicolle Martin from the Alliance Defending Freedom, condemned the judge’s ruling, citing that one liberty cannot be used to trump another.
“America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs,” Martin said. “Forcing Americans to promote ideas against their will undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression and our right to live free.”
Martin said this was simply a case of an entrepreneur who declined to use his personal creative abilities to further something that his religious beliefs teach is wrong. Indeed, the Bible makes it clear that God does not approve of homosexuality, calling the union of two same-sex individuals “obscene.”
“You must not lie down with a male the same as you lie down with a woman. It is a detestable thing.” – Leviticus 18:22
“God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene.” – Romans 1:26, 27
“What! Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men… will inherit God’s kingdom.” 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10
Martin said Phillips is a devoted man whose unwavering Bible-based faith will not allow his Christian conscience, based on Bible principles such as above, to promote things condemned by God. Phillips even refuses to bake Halloween-themed cakes.
Phillips remarked that he is not “homophobic” and does not refuse service to anyone based on their sexual orientation. He does however draw the line on catering to same-sex “marriage.”
“He’s just trying to live within a certain set of biblical principals because he believes that he answers to God for everything that he does,” Martin said.
What are your thoughts? Whose side do you come down on? Leave your comments below.