Lakewood’s Masterpiece Cakeshop Refuses Gay Couple’s Wedding Business, Sparks Social Media Frenzy
Lakewood, Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop, until very recently, had a solid set of five-star reviews on Yelp and managed to stay out of the realm of social media outrage, but after rudely refusing the business of a gay couple, the bakery has won itself a whole bunch of whatever the word is for “opposite of fans.”
Masterpiece Cakeshop has apparently, in the past, rejected gay patrons seeking wedding cakes, per a Denver-area blog. But the issue did not come front and center on social media until one gay couple says they were treated so shabbily, the just wanted to prevent any other same-sex couples from encountering the same poor treatment and subsequent heartache.
28-year-old Dave Mullins and 31-year-old Charlie Craig are tying the knot this fall, and the pair envisioned a rainbow layer cake with frosting to match their wedding colors — teal and red. A somewhat simple request, and certainly not outlandish when stacked up against wedding cakes in general, lest we forget that the genre includes bridges, fountains, cake-rendered likenesses of actual humans and all sorts of wedding related frippery.
But Mullins and Craig were turned away, and not because Masterpiece Cakeshop objected to their brightly-colored confectionary leanings. No, the business instead objected to their gayness, and made no bones about telling them so. Mullins did not say exactly what Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips said to deny their request, but the groom-to-be did say he was pissed off at the time:
“It was the most awkward, surreal, very brief encounter… We got up to leave, and to be totally honest, I said, ‘F*ck you and your homophobic cake shop.’ And I may or may not have flipped him off.”
Mullins and Craig are not the first same-sex couple to be insulted by the Masterpiece Cakeshop. The Denver blog quotes Yelp user Sara, whose information is almost painfully understanding of the shop’s homophobia. Sara goes to great lengths to explain that she isn’t trying to organize an angry mob, but such a rejection could prove hurtful to other gay customers:
“I feel I need to disclose to anyone with an ‘alternative’ lifestyle, that this company does not want your business, as they do not participate in making cakes for ‘illegal’ things, such as a commitment ceremony (exact quote)… All we wanted was a cake, and I totally respect the right to refuse service, (but) I feel obligated to help anyone else avoid what was an incredibly awkward situation by selecting this place for your services. That is simply it (right, wrong or indifferent). Nothing more, nothing less.”
For a bakery that is holding fast to their convictions, Masterpiece Cakeshop isn’t forthcoming when asked by media about its policy. When queried, the shop told the blog to “make something up” because they would not be officially commenting on the gay cake policy.
Mullins says that the incident was the first time a business has refused his custom due solely to the fact his rainbow money wasn’t good enough, and it was hurtful:
“But this is the first time I’ve ever been refused service at a business because I was gay.. I want (Phillips) to know that what he did hurt us. All we wanted was a cake. We didn’t want him to put on a rainbow shirt and march in the gay pride parade. This is me standing up for my community’s rights.”
The pair, who say they do not condone harassing Masterpiece Cakeshop, did have a happy ending. After going to the “gayest” bakery they could find, Mullins and Craig now expect to have their dream cake for their special day in the fall. Awww.