A Denver bakery has been slapped with a religious discrimination complaint after refusing to bake a cake with an obscene, anti-gay message on it.
Denver’s Azucar Bakery is a “pro-LGBTQ” bakery, according to Out Front. But regardless, they seem to have no shortage of customers who want cakes with religious themes, says owner Marjorie Silva.
“We make [Christian-themed] cakes all the time. No problem at all.”
In March 2014, an “older, professional-looking” gentleman came in and asked to see available Bible-shaped cakes, says pastry chef Lindsay Jones. He looked through the pictures of available Bible-themed cakes, found one he likes, and then presented the chef with a piece of paper he’d kept hidden in his pocket, away from view of other customers. That piece of paper contained the message he wanted written on the cake.
“He wanted us to write God hates … [Ms. Jones refuses to say the word]. Just really radical stuff against gays.”
“He wouldn’t allow me to make a copy of the message, but it was really hateful. I remember the words detestable, disgrace, homosexuality, and sinners.”
Marjorie maintains that she never refused the customer her service, according to New Now Next. Instead, she says, she remained professional, and tried to work out a compromise with the customer so that he would have his cake, but yet would allow her to not send a cake out of her bakery with a hateful message written on it.
“I told him that I would bake the cake in the shape of a Bible… Then I told him I’d sell him a [decorating] bag with the right tip and the right icing so he could write those things himself.”
The customer, however, was not interested in compromise, and told the Denver bakery to either bake his cake or talk to an attorney.
The customer would be back in the bakery a few more times, each time getting progressively more confrontational and hostile, but eventually he lost interest in badgering the bakery directly and filed an official complaint to Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).
DORA is Colorado’s state regulatory agency that monitors against discrimination and fraudulent business practices, according to its website.
“DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission.”
This complaint appears to be another salvo in the ongoing culture war that is playing out between LGBTQ customers and businesses that would prefer to refuse service to them based on religious grounds. So far, this “war” seems to be heavily favoring the customers rather than the businesses. Several bakeries, printers, and wedding venues have been sued, fined, or otherwise forced to close because of their owners’ refusal to provide some services to LGBTQ customers. For example: in November 2014, an upstate New York couple was fined $13,000 for refusing to host a same-sex wedding for a lesbian couple on religious grounds, according to this Inquisitr report.
As for the Denver baker: Marjorie confirms that DORA has been exceptionally helpful and friendly in helping her navigate through her official response to the religious discrimination complaint. They will make a decision within 30 days of her response. As of this post, it is not clear what repercussions, if any, the bakery could face as a result of this complaint.
Do you believe this bakery should be forced, by law, to provide a Christian customer with a cake with an obscene, anti-gay message on it? Sound off in the comments below.
Update: The man who filed the religious discrimination complaint against the Denver bakery has been identified as a Christian educator name Bill Jack; and a Colorado lawmaker has stepped in with his thoughts on this dispute as well. Read about the updates to this story in this Inquisitr report.
[Image courtesy of: Spare Not]