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Denver Bakery Refuses To Make Wedding Cake For Gay Couple

We’ve heard of homophobes refusing to rent gay couples a reception hall, and turning them away at the inn for their honeymoon. But now A Denver-area bakery is refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Attacking our sweet tooth? Now it’s personal.

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop, says he has no ill will toward the LGBT community, he just doesn’t support gay marriage: “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,” Phillips said.

Would Phillips turn down a client if they were a gold digger marrying for money, or a serial monogamist marrying for the sixth time? We doubt it.

Members of the Lakewood community, gay and straight, are outraged and are calling for a boycott of Masterpiece.

“We need to send a message to them that in this day and age, bigotry cannot and will not be tolerated,” reads an online petition  with 2,125 signatures. Dozens of protestors picketed the bakery last weekend and Phillips also says he’s received more than 1,000 angry messages.

But even the demonstrators say boycotting a local business is bittersweet: “I think it’s really important to our community to support local business,” protester Cate Owen told KCNC. “I think we should want them to change…it’s not like we want to shut them down.”

Photo: Dailyville

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jul 30, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 36 Comments
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      I’m actually glad when business owners speak up about being anti-gay because then I know never to give them a penny of my money and I’ll take my business elsewhere.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      Did I miss the link? The petition is here: http://signon.org/sign/boycott-masterpiece-cakeshop

      Jul 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      @Jeff: Thank you and agreed. If a business doesn’t want my $$$, I’d much rather they have the balls and tell me up front rather then take my money and then turn around and contribute to anti-gay efforts. Gay money is just as green as str8t money and there are plenty of business are just in the business of selling a good or service without passing judgement on the customer.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      I agree… It would be Great if more businesses let us know that they support us… then we can support them.

      I would not trust a bakery or photographer etc on my wedding day that was anti-gay. To get a cake that looks like crap or pictures of mostly the back of heads etc would ruin a day that cannot be re done.

      I think it is best that we just spread the word, let our friends and family know who supports us… and who does not.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 6:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      Since when are bakers in the business of NOT making cakes?

      I wonder how they would react to someone wanting a wedding-style cake for another purpose. No wedding at all. Why do they even ask what the cake is for?

      Jul 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Melissa
      Melissa

      @JAW:
      You know what’s funny? I don’t think an organization that is “anti-gay” would offer worse services just because they felt that way. People against gay marriage are talented photographers and bakers too. And I don’t think that on purpose they would mess up someone’s pictures or cake on their special day, because that would be wrong. Companies can choose who they want to support and what they want to support.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • samwise
      samwise

      @Melissa: Of course companies have the right to choose. Customers have that choice as well. So when the company owners wonder why sales are down, they will know that the cause is their bigotry. Really simple, huh?

      Jul 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      It’s not a “wedding cake”…marriage isn’t legal in CO. They’re making a cake for a party.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Denver Dude
      Denver Dude

      Take your business to Frills on 10th and Santa Fe. Cool owners, the coolest cakes in town, gluten free options for the flower-challenged and the main cake man is cute (but straight) (but who cares, he’s cute). Support businesses that support you while getting a superior product! It doesn’t get any better than that.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW
      JAW

      @Melissa:
      Melissa… Are you saying that the Baker who told the Gays to take a hike… (aka anti-gay) would do a Great job? even though he told the guys a flat out NOOOOO?

      I want the Baker to WOW me and all at the reception… so they get business from others doing a Gay wedding. This guy does not want to do it, so he would be a basic job (If the GLBT customer is lucky)

      You can be the guinea pig… not me.

      same goes for other small businesses… There are a Lot more far right weddings that this guy will get then GLBT commitment ceremonies (GLBT weddings are illegal in Co.)

      Jul 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J Stratford
      J Stratford

      So what now? Go to another business and tell everyone to not patronize this one, silently. Spread the word and do a silent boycott – a whisper campaign.

      That way the “good” businesses will have all the regular customers, plus us gays. All it takes is for the “good” businesses to ahve a competitive advantage (and extra market) for them to lower their marginal cost and voila – the “bad” business is out.

      It takes a while but its effective.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 9:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dee-dee
      dee-dee

      What a moron. If he wants to turn a job down let him.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Belize
      Belize

      @Melissa: Exactly. If companies want to be stupid, it’s their right. LOL.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 7 · samwise wrote, “@Melissa: Of course companies have the right to choose.”

      Not true – read http://www.dora.state.co.us/civil-rights/OurProcessandAreasWeCover/PublicAccommodationsDiscrimination.html for an explanation (and this is an official web site maintained by the state of Colorado, not some random person’s opinion).

      Here’s a quote: “Colorado law prohibits acts of discrimination in places of public accommodation based on actual or perceived sexual orientation. By legal definition, sexual orientation means heterosexuality, homosexuality (lesbian or gay), bisexuality, and transgender status. Transgender status means a gender indentity or gender expression that differs from societal expectations based on gender assigned at birth.”

      The bakery cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation, including the sale of wedding cakes. It can state that it does not have a supplier for a plastic stick-on with two “grooms” and offer to provide a cake without that.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KARUADAM
      KARUADAM

      @dee-dee: Dee Dee, it`s not a question of being an moron, or Mormon! but if you know!? that is how it`s all started in 1938 Nazi Germany. I learn from that! I don`t give business to Christian I just heat them.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 1:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hamoboy
      hamoboy

      @B: “Places of accommodation”. That’s not what a bakery is. The reason why BnB’s and hotels must accommodate guests in spite of their bigotry is because shelter is a human right. Wedding cakes, however, are not considered so essential.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 5:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retro Remixes
      Retro Remixes

      In Case No One Has Posted It, Here’s Their Address Where You Can Kindly Tell Them to Fuck Right Off. 3355 South Wadsworth H-117 Lakewood, CO 80227 303-763-5754.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 5:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NAME
      NAME

      FREEDOM OF THOUGHT. DON’T LET THE LEFTIST BULLIES DICTATE “YOUR” CONSCIENCE. Keep the bakery in business. Buy a “virtual charity cake.” Donate via Pay Pal. Charity gets a percent and the besieged bakery can cover overhead while under attack…We want to keep him in business.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 8:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kurt
      Kurt

      It is hate pure and simple. The idea their religious principles prohibit this is BS. Even the most anti-gay churches — LDS, Catholic, Baptist — don’t teach that it is a sin for a businessman to sell a commerical product to a gay person.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Kurt: Of course not, they have been trying to sell their commercial product (religion) to gay people for years, and some are still buying it. Thankfully, a lot less are buying it now than once were.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 10:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete N SFO
      Pete N SFO

      I love when these people claim they have no prejudice…

      So what are the other people for whom you refuse service? Oh, JUST the marrying gays? Ah, yes… I see.

      Bigot. Enjoy the day, the sun will soon set on your baloney.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MS644
      MS644

      I think businesses should be free to accept or refuse custom as they please as long as it is not illegal. If I owned a bakery (I’m gay btw) and let’s say Mitt Romney were ordering a wedding cake, I would most definitely reject that order…

      Jul 31, 2012 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @MS644: You may want to rethink that…. or at least make sure, before you refuse, you have proof that he’s having a wedding. Confirming bigamy would, in his case, probably sink his chances at election :)

      Jul 31, 2012 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • twoguysbrooklyn
      twoguysbrooklyn

      When my hubby and I were married legally in Brooklyn last October, we ordered a cake from a local bake shop and they were more than happy to provide it. It was exactly as ordered, delivered timely at no cost and was the best cake I ever had. I’m happy to plug them:

      Bay Ridge Bakery on 5th Ave & 78st in Brooklyn.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 1:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 16 · hamoboy wrote, ‘@B: “Places of accommodation”. That’s not what a bakery is”

      No, it is precisely what a bakery is. The term “public accommodation” is a legal one. According to http://www.dora.state.co.us/civil-rights/OurProcessandAreasWeCover/PublicAccommodationsDiscrimination.html (one of the state of Colorado’s web pages), “A place of public accommodation can be a: bar; restaurant; financial institution; school or educational institution; health club; theater; hospital; museum or zoo; hotel or motel; public club; retail store; medical clinic; public transportation; nursing home; recreational facility or park; and library.”

      Note that “retail store” is in the list, and the list is not complete – just examples.

      Also, according to http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1986&Itemid=463 a “place of public accommodation” is defined as “any place of business engaged in any sales to the general public and any place that offers services, facilities, privileges, or advantages to the general public or that receives financial support through solicitation of the general public or through governmental subsidy of any kind.” That definition clearly includes a bakery.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hamoboy
      hamoboy

      @B: While the elaboration on the meaning makes it much more plausible, I still don’t think it’s “exactly” what a place of accommodation is. Good to see what I presume to be anti-segregation laws being applicable to another minority. However, a wedding cake, as a piece of custom, creative work, might not fall under this definition. Meaning, this guy can’t refuse to sell something off his display counter to a gay couple, but he might be able to refuse designing and baking a unique one-off cake for them. The courts will decide I suppose. Either way, a boycott and a trashing in the media will either show him how commercially unsound bigotry is so he changes his ways, or make his business tank. Justice has been served a la mode already I think.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • janice
      janice

      The baker said he has nothing against the gay community but that he’s sticking to to his principles. He spoke his mind. What more is he supposed to do? Surely, he’s not the only baker in town, right?

      Jul 31, 2012 at 9:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 26 · hamoboy wrote, “@B: While the elaboration on the meaning makes it much more plausible, I still don’t think it’s “exactly” what a place of accommodation is.”

      Really? What I quoted was not my personal opinion, but Colorado state law. The place is a public accommodation given the definition. It doesn’t have to produce something it normally doesn’t sell or have the capability of making, but if it has the ability to satisfy the customer’s order, it has to regardless, and prejudice is not a valid excuse.

      Exactly what do you think might be different between a wedding cake for a same-sex couple versus a straight couple? If they can add the married couple’s first names, they surely can do two men as easily as a man and a woman. Otherwise the cakes are just about identical. An excuse simply would not fly in court.

      Re No. 27 · janice, who wrote, “The baker said he has nothing against the gay community but that he’s sticking to to his principles. He spoke his mind. What more is he supposed to do?:

      What “more” he is supposed to do is to comply with Colorado laws. The law is reasonable. If you have a high-income, same-sex couple working in high-tech companies, there employers expect a lot more than 40 hour work weeks. Do you really think people in this position should have to waste an incredible amount of time finding businesses willing to serve them because some business owners don’t like their sexual orientation? The result of that wasted time is less productivity at work, lower income, and less tax revenue for the state – and if they leave the state to find an environment where they can be productive, the state loses that income. Is anyone surprised that the state might not like that?

      Jul 31, 2012 at 11:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mom82501
      mom82501

      @Denver Dude
      I wanted to add an update, I am Charlie’s mother and I witnessed this incident with my son and Dave at Masterpiece Cakeshop. I was in Denver for business and they wanted to include me on what should have been a fun wedding planning moment. The DORA law quoted earlier does apply to their situation and they are looking into filing a complaint. Happy to share that a very community minded bakery has been selected for their reception cake, the bakery contacted them privately and offered to gift them their cake. They had received many offers to gift a cake from many bakeries, one as far away as Canada. But as everyone knows, it is not about the cake, it is about discrimination that was shown them based on their orientation. And having a bigot refuse to even do a consultation and ordering a cake for their reception was illegal and inhumane. This was not the first time that the owner has turned down couples, it brags during interviews that he turned down a lesbian couple earlier this year. He also tries to justify that he is not prejudice against LGBT’s as he will make cakes for them for other occasions. I am still trying to figure out how he thinks he can tell on sight who is LGBT and who is heterosexual when they order items. My son announced the cake was for their upcoming wedding reception, but how do you tell someone’s orientation? I have suggested that he post a sign that states “We refuse to sell wedding and reception cakes to anyone who is not heterosexual” But he has not responded, because I think he knows that what he does is illegal, he just plays the refusal case by case and he never thought any one would stand up to him or challenge him on his discriminatory practices. But, he guessed wrong and through the support of people in the US and internationally, there are steps being taken to stop this practice.
      If you would like to thank a great bakery for their awesomeness, please do- And thank you for your support
      http://www.facebook.com/pages/Loras-Donuts-And-Bakery-Shop/283244966377

      Aug 4, 2012 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leslie Ratica
      Leslie Ratica

      We value EVERYONE, as a human being and a client. Send those boys to us and we’ll make their cake for free.

      Aug 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leslie Ratica
      Leslie Ratica

      We value EVERYONE, as a human being and a client. Send the happy couple to us and we’ll make their cake for free.

      Aug 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leslie Ratica
      Leslie Ratica

      Sorry about the double post. I now see that they have a cake. Yes!
      I just wanted to add that as a bakery owner, I wish I had more gay clients. They are usually very open to creative ideas and are always a pleasure to work with. Masterpiece is making a big mistake. Best wishes to Charlie & Dave!

      Aug 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leslie Ratica
      Leslie Ratica

      Sorry about the accidental double post. And I now see that they have a cake. Yes!
      I just wanted to add that as a bakery owner, I wish I had more gay clients. They are usually very open to creative ideas and are always a pleasure to work with. Masterpiece is making a big mistake. Best wishes to Charlie & Dave!

      Aug 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leslie Ratica
      Leslie Ratica

      Sorry about the accidental double post. And I now see that they have a cake. Yes!
      I just wanted to add that as a bakery owner, I wish I had more gay clients. They are usually very open to creative ideas and are always a pleasure to work with. Some of my very favorite cakes have been designed with the help of gay couples. Masterpiece is making a big mistake. Best wishes to Charlie & Dave!

      Aug 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leslie Ratica
      Leslie Ratica

      Sorry about the accidental double post. And I now see that they have a cake. Yes!
      I just wanted to add that as a bakery owner, I wish I had more gay clients. They are usually very open to creative ideas and are always a pleasure to work with. Some of my very favorite cakes have been designed with the help of couples who just happen to be gay. Masterpiece is making a big mistake. Best wishes to Charlie & Dave!

      Aug 4, 2012 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cakes
      Cakes

      Hahah Finally, somebody takes a step to put a stop to it !

      Aug 13, 2012 at 4:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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