A Denver area baker who was boycotted by homosexuals over his refusal to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex couple has seen his business more than double, thanks to the efforts of area residents who are taking a stand for liberty and traditional marriage.
Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, said that the controversy began in mid-July when two men came in to his shop and asked Phillips to bake a cake for their wedding reception. When Phillips refused on moral grounds, explaining that he did not agree with homosexual marriage, the couple took to Facebook and other social media to complain.
“My first comment was, 'We're getting married,' and he just shut that down immediately,” said Charlie Craig, who had gone into Phillips' shop with his partner, Dave Mullin, expecting to discuss their needs for a cake with the baker. Instead, they were out the door in a few minutes and complaining to fellow gays and supporters.
For his part, Phillips explained, “I'm a follower of Jesus Christ, so you could say this is a religious belief. I believe the Bible teaches that [homosexuality] is not an OK thing.” He clarified that “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."
Such a position was unacceptable to a contingent of homosexual activists, however, who took to protesting in front of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, encouraging potential customers to take their business elsewhere, since Phillips was guilty of “discriminating” on the basis of their sexual preference. According to CBS News, on July 28, dozens of homosexual activists had gathered outside Phillips' business to protest.
“I support local business,” one protester told CBS News. “I think it's really important to our community to support local business. [But] if it has to do with discrimination I don't think we should support it. I think we should want to change their policies. It's not like we want to shut them down."
But Phillips, who has gotten more than 1,000 angry comments about his stance, said that “we would close down that bakery before we closed our beliefs, so that may be what it comes to.... We'll see.”
As it happens, that most likely won't be necessary. According to LifeSiteNews.com, Phillips said the publicity from the resulting boycott, which included several hundred signatures from a pair of online petition drives, has been a big plus for his business, with many customers stopping by specifically because of his moral stand. Phillips said that as of July 31, “we had about twice as much business as normal. There are people coming in to support us.”
Phillips said that since 1993 the family business has refused a half-dozen or so requests for cakes for same-sex wedding celebrations. However, in the latest case, things got nasty when one of the two men coming in to order a cake for their “wedding” got particularly upset over Phillips' refusal, offering the baker an obscene gesture and saying “F*** you and your homophobic cake shop.” In fact, said Phillips, he was forced to call the police after the incident when he received several death threats from anonymous callers.
Phillips told the Denver Post that when he provides a cake for a celebration, in a small way he is taking part. “When I do a cake for a first birthday party, I imagine the family gathered around taking pictures and laughing,” he said. “When I do a graduation cake, I think of all the hard work it took to get them there. I feel like I'm part of the celebration, and I can't take part in that kind of celebration [a same-sex wedding].”
He emphasized that the boycott and petitions will have no impact on how he does business. “I'm not going to change my business because of a petition. I'm just going to do the best I can do to honor Jesus Christ.”