Sunday, 08 December 2013 18:20

Colorado Baker Ordered to Make Cakes for Same-Sex Couples

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A Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for two men who wanted cake for their wedding has been found guilty of discrimination and ordered to serve future same-sex couples or face stiff fines. Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled December 6 that Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, discriminated against Dave Mullin and Charlie Craig when he told them in July 2012 that he couldn't bake a cake to celebrate their supposed marriage because homosexual behavior conflicted with his Christian beliefs. Mullins and Craig had gone through a same-sex ceremony earlier in Massachusetts but had wanted a cake to celebrate in Colorado.

“Respondents have no free speech right to refuse because they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech,” wrote Spencer in his ruling against Phillips. “It is not the same as forcing a person to pledge allegiance to the government or to display a motto with which they disagree.” He added that “at first blush, it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses. This view, however, fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are.”

Spencer ordered Phillips to “cease and desist,” under threat of fine, from allowing his Christian beliefs prevent him from serving homosexual pairs who ask him to bake them a wedding cake.

Mullins played up the role of aggrieved victim, weeping that “being denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop was offensive and dehumanizing, especially in the midst of arranging what should be a joyful family celebration. No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are.” However, he and his partner Craig were “grateful to have the support of our community and our state, and we hope that today’s decision will help ensure that no one else will experience this kind of discrimination again in Colorado.”

Colorado's ACLU franchise, which sued the baker on behalf of the homosexual men, exulted in its victory. “Masterpiece Cakeshop has willfully and repeatedly considered itself above the law when it comes to discriminating against customers, and the state has rightly determined otherwise,” said the ACLU's Sara Neel. Ignoring the treatment Phillips received for living according to his convictions, Neel quipped that “it's important for all Coloradans to be treated fairly by every business that is open to the public — that’s good for business and good for the community.”

Amanda Goad of the ACLU's homosexual LGBT Project insisted that “no one’s religious beliefs make it acceptable to break the law by discriminating against prospective customers,” adding lamely that Phillips wasn't asked “to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple.”

Attorney Nicolle Martin of the conservative Christian legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Phillips, expressed dismay at the bizarre ruling. “He can't violate his conscience in order to collect a paycheck,” she said. “If Jack can't make wedding cakes, he can't continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system. That is a reprehensible choice.”

Martin noted that “America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs. Forcing Americans to promote ideas against their will undermines our constitutionally protected freedom of expression and our right to live free. If the government can take away our First Amendment freedoms, there is nothing it can’t take away. We are considering our next steps.”

The Associated Press reported that a similar case “is pending in Washington state, where a florist is accused of refusing service for a same-sex wedding.” And in New Mexico, the news site added, “The state Supreme Court ruled in August that an Albuquerque business was wrong to decline to photograph a same-sex couple's commitment ceremony.”

21 comments

  • Comment Link Heidi Preston Friday, 13 December 2013 23:49 posted by Heidi Preston

    In another article from the New American- India's Supreme Court Re-criminalizes Homosexual Behavior. The Indian law under British rule states "Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with anyone...", the point is that the definition of homosexuality is being redefined as a normal natural act of nature.
    This is an interesting argument since science is always the back drop of all secular arguments. By virtue of Nature two sockets and two plugs do not match or produce anything and since Darwin believes and everyone follows like lemmings that reproduction is the goal of living beings...it's NOT natural.
    Is it wrong? Depends on your belief system. Christian religion and most religions teach that humans have dominion over nature...this actually would favor the homosexuals in their belief that as humans they can "choose" this way, but they knock themselves out of the game by announcing they can't help it...it's in their genes. Unfortunately that gene is shy because they can't find it and this would also say that we have a pre-determined destiny and that throws out the idea of free will. It's a mess alright.
    All I can say is that two sockets and two plugs don't match but if they want to do it ok...the law getting involved in it is a tricky game of beliefs that as we can see brings you full circle to ...free will and choice or predetermination and slave to destiny so why expect change...lol

  • Comment Link Hans Friday, 13 December 2013 03:15 posted by Hans

    "It doesn't matter whose discriminating against who, denying a service to somebody else because of their religion, sexuality, race, gender, etc, that you would otherwise provide to anyone else is wrong. End of story."

    I agree. 100%. The difference between you and me is, I don't think it's a legal issue. The government has done little to fix any problems and usually causes more trouble due to the heavy handedness of the laws they pass. If you don't agree with what he says, then don't buy from him. Loss of revenue from people will change it without having ridiculous small minded politicians getting involved.

    "As far as I know there's much less racism now than there was when schools were segregated, and blacks had to sit in the back of the bus. There's more tolerance for homosexuality now than ever, yet gays have more rights now than they did any other time in history."

    True. But do you really think that was because of laws? De-segregation and equal treatment were already supported by the public by the time any laws to fix those problems came along. Most problems with racism were actually caused by the government having special laws for whites and blacks, so special treatment was part of the problem. It's fine to get rid of laws causing a problem, such as segregation of public facilities, but a very different thing to pass laws to try to fix a problem, such as hate crime laws and title 9, which do next to nothing to fix anything.

    "Photography is not synonomous with pornography."

    Didn't say it was, my point isn't a random photographer, I'm talking about a pornographic photographer, they exist you know. Ultimately it doesn't matter, I was only using an existing question to make a point. Heterosexual people aren't protected and no one, including the government, gives a rats ass. If a straight person were denied something, you might care and a few random people might care, but ultimately nothing would happen. The fact that special laws exist saying these specific groups are protected and they aren't laws that protect everyone shows they only really have concern about certain groups.

    "Who is getting special treatment here?"

    The groups with laws that only affect them. These laws only cover certain individuals, not people in general, so any group that has special laws has special treatment.

  • Comment Link Chthonic Retribution Wednesday, 11 December 2013 16:07 posted by Chthonic Retribution

    @Hans

    One more thing...

    It doesn't matter whose discriminating against who, denying a service to somebody else because of their religion, sexuality, race, gender, etc, that you would otherwise provide to anyone else is wrong. End of story. I think most people share this sentiment.

  • Comment Link Chthonic Retribution Wednesday, 11 December 2013 15:52 posted by Chthonic Retribution

    @Hans

    Doesn't matter. Discrimination is discrimination. I'm sure there were people who made the same argument during the 1960's, but instead of sexuality, it was race. Regardless of the situation, discrimination is immoral, unfair, and unhealthy for society.

    "Laws passed to try to force equality were way behind movements to bring it about it society already, and they only serve to make people angry and try even harder to adhere to their beliefs."

    I'm not sure what you're talking about. As far as I know there's much less racism now than there was when schools were segregated, and blacks had to sit in the back of the bus. There's more tolerance for homosexuality now than ever, yet gays have more rights now than they did any other time in history.

    "I'm also a little curious, in the example of the porn star, what if they porn star was gay? Would they then be a protected class and he would have to be forced to take photos?"

    Are you serious? This scenario doesn't even make sense. Photography is not synonomous with pornography. I'm not an expert on the subject, but I'm fairly certain the majority of pornography is produced by companies whose intentions are to make pornography. These companies typically hire actors who fit the part. Photographers are not pornographers. In no situation would a photographer who doesn't offer such services be forced to take lewd pictures of someone. That's insane. I don't understand why you would even have to ask that question to begin with.

    "But I think people being forced to deal with other people or getting special treatment is wrong."

    Who is getting special treatment here?

  • Comment Link Hans Wednesday, 11 December 2013 05:39 posted by Hans

    I'm sorry, but this isn't a life saving procedure, this is a cake. A baker not making a cake is not the same as refusing to try to save someones life. A doctor or surgeon go into that field because they want to save lives, and I doubt it matter the race, religion, or sexual orientation of the patient. This guy wants to bake. That comparison doesn't really work.

    Also, protected classes are themselves terrible. People like to believe that they can mandate behavior, but that can't be done. Society has changed on it's own without the intervention or government. Laws passed to try to force equality were way behind movements to bring it about it society already, and they only serve to make people angry and try even harder to adhere to their beliefs. Maybe, if we're so concerned about fair and equal treatment, the governments should start by not giving special laws and protections to specific groups of people. Anyone upset enough about his refusal to not shop there isn't going to keep shopping there after this ruling, unless it's to harass him or force him to bake a cake for them because they are gay. But whether the baker is comfortable or not at his business doesn't matter I suppose.

    The best case scenario for this is that the baker gets enough business to keep it open, but has to violate his beliefs. Otherwise this whole thing will lead to him either losing or closing his business. I fail to see how that is beneficial to society. Maybe, he'll be smart enough to move to a state that is actually more concerned about freedom and liberties than if someone feels bad.

    I'm also a little curious, in the example of the porn star, what if they porn star was gay? Would they then be a protected class and he would have to be forced to take photos? Or, how would you feel if the baker was gay and didn't want to bake for straight people? Oh, I suppose straight people aren't a protected class, nevermind, it doesn't matter if they feel uncomfortable.

    One more thing, just to cut off any claims of hatred or bigotry or whatever, I'm gay. But I think people being forced to deal with other people or getting special treatment is wrong.

  • Comment Link Chthonic Retribution Tuesday, 10 December 2013 20:56 posted by Chthonic Retribution

    @Jim

    Of course not. Refusing to take pictures of a porn star would not be considered discrimination. See one of my comments for a definition of discrimination.

  • Comment Link Chthonic Retribution Tuesday, 10 December 2013 20:24 posted by Chthonic Retribution

    @Sue
    Lazarus, if you can watch this documentary and still tell me that you believe people choose to be gay... I'll probably think you're an idiot.

    But you should watch it anyway, if only just to hear the other side's story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV0tS6G8NNU

    Sorry if posting urls is against the rules...

  • Comment Link Chthonic Retribution Tuesday, 10 December 2013 20:10 posted by Chthonic Retribution

    @Sue
    The word "wedding" was in quotation marks at the time that I posted that comment. It appears the author removed them.

    Also, you can't claim that a Christian baker is being discriminated against by being "forced" to bake a cake for a gay couple because... well, that's not discrimination. See my previous comment for a definition of discrimination. Regardless, according to that logic, a surgeon who believes it is immoral to operate on a person based on something as trivial as their sexuality, should be able to deny that person life saving medical treatment.

  • Comment Link Lazarus Tuesday, 10 December 2013 18:49 posted by Lazarus

    from the judges decision -
    "... it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses. This view, however, fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are.”
    from the plaintiff's statement -
    "No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are.”
    Something very important is being overlooked here. Homosexuality is a BEHAVIOR, not "who they are." For all the left's desire to find a homosexual gene, there hasn't been one found. Homosexuality is a sexually immoral behavior, just as adultery is a sexually immoral behavior, just as pedophilia is a sexually immoral behavior, etc. Because this point is being willfully ignored, homosexuals are being accorded civil rights protections where they should not be.
    It is not surprising though, that rulings like this are becoming more commonplace. Having turned away from a Judeo-Christian basis for law, and embracing a secular humanist value system, we really have no solid foundation for our laws anymore. Law is becoming more and more arbitrary.

  • Comment Link Sue Hasty Tuesday, 10 December 2013 11:59 posted by Sue Hasty

    Astral Owl, the only place I saw wedding being placed in quote marks, is in your comment.

    It appears that all the other places where quote marks are used, were actually quotes taken from whatever was used as source material for the article.....a common practice.

    I find it hilariously disturbing that the judge in this case sees no problem in forcing this business to produce a cake in honor of something that goes against their moral code, and yet says a person shouldn't be forced to display a motto they disagree with.

    I wonder what would happen if the owner decided to display a banner that said, " as a Christian, I'm being discriminated against by being forced to bake cakes for homosexual weddings, even though it's against my moral code."

    I wonder if the Judge would have made the same determination against a Muslim, or Orthodox Jewish business, or if only Christian businesses are being targeted? Wouldn't that be discrimination?

  • Comment Link Sue Hasty Tuesday, 10 December 2013 11:28 posted by Sue Hasty

    In answer to Heidi Preston,

    Where is the ACLU getting the money?

    Here's a partial answer, Peter Lewis, billionaire CEO of PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE CO., who just died this November, at age 80. Donated at least 15 Million since the year 2000, or 2001. Ironic, since he was married to a woman.

    Here's a link with the details: http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/a/aclu-lewis.htm#.UqdKOhG9KSM

    Truth or fiction designates this as TRUE.

  • Comment Link Heidi Preston Tuesday, 10 December 2013 00:23 posted by Heidi Preston

    ACLU is the strong arm of a-moral behavior.
    1. Abortions (the human being proven by DNA has no rights according to ACLU and the President elected infiltrated Supreme Court, yet ACLU supposedly champions human rights...what a bad joke on all of us)- "The group filed suit with the Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU of Texas in federal court in Austin on Friday against Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott and other state and county officials...
    "The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) challenging a law that would defund family planning programs in the state moments after it was signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels today.

    "The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit today in their challenge to a Wisconsin law that singles out doctors who provide abortions for medically unnecessary restrictions"

    question?- where are they getting all this money to go to court from a non-profit organization...must have some heavy weights as donors.

    2.Colorado's ACLU franchise, which sued the baker on behalf of the homosexual men.

    3.The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today reinstated a lawsuit challenging the dismissal of Major Margaret Witt, a decorated U.S. Air Force flight nurse, on grounds that she engaged in homosexual conduct. The ACLU is representing Major Witt in appealing a lower court ruling that rejected the suit in July 2006.

    "The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a leftist, secular-progressive organization. It was run for its first 30 years by an American named Roger Baldwin, who helped found it in 1920. Baldwin supported communism, but later denounced it in his book, A New Slavery, which condemned "the inhuman communist police state tyranny" [12]). This organization pursues a leftist agenda that includes censoring prayer and recognition of God in public institutions, such as public schools. Currently, Anthony Romero is the first openly gay CEO to run the organization. Declassified documents and letters link early ACLU leaders with Communist Party. "

    Secular agenda....anything goes.

  • Comment Link Jim Tuesday, 10 December 2013 00:19 posted by Jim

    So if I am a porn star can I make a photographer film me even if they don't want to? Public government and the services they provide cannot discriminate, but a private person/ private business should have his/it's own right to choose who he associates with, his friends, who he works for and who has intimate relations with. All forms of discrimination. To deny someone their moral convictions that do not impede on someone else's liberty is wrong (you can't have a moral conviction to kill someone). Never mind gays can discriminate against my private business as they publicly did based on my moral convictions. Tolerance is only one way for them. Go get a cake somewhere else. Is a court going to decide if the cake is made good enough too?

  • Comment Link Heidi Preston Monday, 09 December 2013 23:53 posted by Heidi Preston

    Homosexuals fall under the jurisdiction of Federally "protected class" in Colorado as seen by housing laws.......Baker loses....maybe they need to move ? In Colorado gays have laws prohibiting discrimination period.
    Federal law does not protect people against housing discrimination based on their sexual orientation. However, the District of Columbia, several cities and towns, and the following states include sexual orientation as a protected class in their housing discrimination laws:

    California
    Colorado
    Connecticut
    Hawaii
    Illinois
    Maine
    Maryland
    Massachusetts
    Minnesota
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    New York
    Rhode Island
    Vermont
    Washington
    Wisconsin

  • Comment Link Chthonic Retribution Monday, 09 December 2013 23:20 posted by Chthonic Retribution

    @Adriaan

    "There is no law against discrimination, that would be absurd."
    What form of discrimination are you talking about?

    According to wikipedia: Discrimination is the prejudicial and/or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category, "in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated."

    This is illegal in many cases.

  • Comment Link Chthonic Retribution Monday, 09 December 2013 23:13 posted by Chthonic Retribution

    @Gordon Freeman

    Absolutely. Just as a white supremicist cake shop must not discriminate against blacks. Remember the civil rights movement?

  • Comment Link Chthonic Retribution Monday, 09 December 2013 23:10 posted by Chthonic Retribution

    Hans, you made a good point. What I meant to say is, I believe the author would agree that a baker refusing service to a person because they are of a particular race would be immoral.

    You also said that it is a business owner's right to refuse service to someone based on their race. This is incorrect. "The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to 'full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.' "

    What kind of civilized society would allow *this kind* of discrimination? No one is forcing anyone to do anything.

    Finally, you said "since religion is actually the source of marriage and its definition...". That is, in fact, wrong.

  • Comment Link Adriaan Verhulst Monday, 09 December 2013 20:25 posted by Adriaan Verhulst

    The devious political Gay-movement has terrorized a conscientious citizen again. This evil of "marriage" between two perverts is against the creation order which defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman. Discrimination is a normal human process whereby we make all our decisions according to our beliefs, upbringing, convictions etc.
    There is no law against discrimination, that would be absurd.

    Our civil liberties are eroded bit by bit. Government is limited in using it's power and regulated by the Constitution. That is the first & foremost use of the Constitution, namely to protect the Citizen from tyranny.

  • Comment Link Gordon Freeman Monday, 09 December 2013 05:03 posted by Gordon Freeman

    @Astral Owl

    So are you saying that a black nationalist cake shop or jewish cake shop should be forced to make a cake to a neonazi rally in which they celebrate retarded bigotry?

  • Comment Link Hans Monday, 09 December 2013 02:05 posted by Hans

    I think you're missing the point. He never said that this wasn't discrimination, it's that he has the right to do it because it is his business and his personal actions that drive the business.

    Does a baker have the right to not serve to someone because of their race? You bet. It's his business, he can do as he likes. It doesn't matter what the race of the baker is or the race he won't serve, he can do it. Likewise, the media has the right to report on it, and any consumers have the right to not go to that business if they don't like it. The idea that the government can force someone to do something because they have a business doesn't have a damn thing to do with justice or freedom, it is solely about forcing someone else's ideals on them, and that isn't right regardless of the justification.

    I hope this whole thing ends with him shutting down his business so he doesn't have to bake a cake for anyone and then move to another state.

    Also, "marriage" is used because it was only recently people have been trying to change the definition to include same sex couples. And, since religion is actually the source of marriage and its definition, many people don't feel it suddenly includes same sex couple just because someone said so. I'm not very religious so I think the best way to solve this problem is for the government to get out of the business of marrying people and and all couples can have civil unions.

  • Comment Link Astral Owl Sunday, 08 December 2013 21:30 posted by Astral Owl

    I have to admit this was an entertaining read.

    First of all, I'd like to note that I find it hilarious that the word "wedding" is always surrounded by quotation marks whenever the article is reffering to a same sex marriage.

    Secondly, I wonder if the author would agree that it would be discriminatory for a baker to deny service to an individual based on their race. What if it's that baker's belief that it is immoral to serve people of a particular race? According to this article, that person should have the right to discriminate, since doing otherwise would force him to act outside of his belief system.

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