A gay couple has filed a discrimination suit against a Colorado bakery, saying the company refused to make them a wedding cake for their Massachusetts wedding ceremony.
The discrimination complaint added that the owners apparently have a history of turning away same-sex couples at their bakery. The case is much like another one in Washington state earlier this year where a florist refused to provide arrangements for a same-sex marriage.
Mark Silverstein, the legal director for the ACLU in Colorado, stated that the organization filed the complaint on behalf of the couple in question. He added:
“Religious freedom is a fundamental right in America and it’s something that we champion at the ACLU … but someone’s personal religious beliefs don’t justify breaking the law by discriminating against others in the public sphere.”
But the bakery is fighting back against the so-called cake discrimination. Nicolle Martin, the attorney for Jack Phillips, one of the owners at Masterpiece Cakeshop, stated:
“We don’t believe this is a case about commerce. At its heart, this is a case about conscience. It brings it to the forefront. I just don’t think that we should heighten one person’s beliefs over and above another person’s beliefs.”
The ACLU initiated the cake discrimination claim last year on behalf of David Mullins and Charlie Craig. In response, the Colorado Attorney General’s office filed a formal complaint last week. The case’s hearing is scheduled in September before Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission.
After Philips’ refusal to bake a wedding cake for the same-sex couple, he made national news. The bakery owner commented, “We had about twice as much business as normal. There are people coming in to support us.” Philips stated that he has no qualms selling merchandise to a member of the LGBT community. However, he would not bake them a wedding cake.
Do you think the alleged cake discrimination lawsuit is needed, or was the bakery exercising its rights to refuse service?