Lakewood Cake Shop Joins Chick-fil-A as Target of Same-Sex Boycott

August 2, 2012
By

An online search of Masterpiece Cake Shop turns up the bakery’s website, photos of cakes – and this boycott ad on Google, which includes the bakery’s phone number and email

LAKEWOOD – When Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, rejected a request for a same-sex wedding cake based on his Christian beliefs, he didn’t anticipate becoming the target of hate-filled emails and phone calls, much less death threats.

“I’m a follower of Jesus Christ and the Bible,” Phillips told The Colorado Observer. “I said I’m sorry but I don’t do wedding cakes for same-sex marriages.”

Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig had their hearts set on one of Phillips’ designer cakes for their wedding reception in October. When Philips refused, Mullins recalled on his Facebook page, cussing and accusing Phillips of running a “homophobic” bakery.

A week after the July 19 encounter, Phillips became the target of a MoveOn.org petition that stated, “Change your bigoted policies regarding the treatment of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community.” The petition, sent to millions of MoveOn.org members, has gained national attention.

The petition was written by Macklin MacKenzie, who said Mullins and Craig had “spent time dreaming up their perfect day to celebrate their love and commitment to each other, and they admiringly chose this business to add one of the most traditional pieces to their ceremony – the cake.”

Instead, McKenzie said, “Dave and Charlie were denied service because of their sexuality. As a member of the LGBT community, I am appalled by this abhorrent behavior… I’m not sure how the cakes taste, but I know how bigotry and hate tastes and it is disgusting.”

State laws prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in regards to employment, housing and public accommodation. The latter typically refers to restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, spas and recreation centers. The statute hasn’t been tested for wedding cakes – as yet.

Phillips said he offered to sell another type of cake to the same-sex couple, but he has legal counsel just in case anyone decides to litigate wedding cakes.

The family-owned business has turned down several same-sex wedding cake requests over the past decade.

But, Phillips also may be a victim of discrimination. An online search of Masterpiece Cakeshop turns up the bakery’s website and photos of beautifully designed cakes – and a boycott ad on Google.

“This ‘business discriminates against Gay People!” warns the ad posted by Dee Galloway, a poet and singer in the Denver metro area. She also included the bakery’s phone number and email.

“I’ve had nasty emails and calls, but on the other hand my business is overloaded with customers,” said Phillips. In response to the attacks, the bakery has seen a surge in business this week.

“I’m inundated with extra business,” declared Phillips.

Mullins and Craig found a cake at Le Bakery Sensual inDenverfor their wedding reception here after getting married this October in Massachusetts.

In 2006,Colorado voters passed a constitutional amendment to recognize marriage between a man and a woman, and that same year rejected a referendum that would have sanctioned same-sex civil unions.

Legislative bills to establish same-sex civil unions failed in House committees in 2011, and during the special session in May.

State Sen. Shawn Mitchell (R-Broomfield) offered an amendment to the bill in April to protect individuals and entities from being forced to perform services for same-sex couples that were against their personal beliefs and religious convictions. The amendment was defeated in the Democrat-dominated Senate.

Sounding prophetic, Mitchell at the time warned that without the amendment, religious institutions and businesses would be vulnerable to same-sex advocates who might sue anyone who refused to offer services such as couple counseling, wedding event center rentals and caterers.

“We’re going to spread this policy. We’re going to marginalize people with different views and overcome their conscientious objections. We’ll sue them,” said Mitchell of the impassioned proponents for civil unions. “We’ll regulate them. We’re going to deny their licenses. We will stamp out dissent.”

The Masterpiece Bakery here is the latest boycott against businesses across the nation for freedom of speech and religious values. None is bigger than the reaction to privately held Chick-fil-A, which takes in about $4 billion a year, because its president Dan Cathy stated his belief in marriage is rooted in biblical principles of one man and one woman.

“We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,” Cathy told the Biblical Reporter publication on July 2.

Since then, the mostly family-owned drive-thru restaurants has been grappling with a nationwide battle by pro-gay marriage groups to boycott the business. The controversy hit Colorad oon Wednesday –protestors demonstrated outside a Chick-fil-A on the 16th Street mall and proponents caused traffic jams lining up for the drive-thru at the takeout restaurant inThornton.

Whether it’s a battle for civil rights by the GLBT community or freedom of speech and religion by business owners, some like state House Assistant Majority Leader Mark Waller also view this as yet another liberal-propelled attempt to cloud the real issues facing Colorado and the nation in an election year.

“The Democrats have consistently used divisive social issues to try to take the focus off what this election is truly about – and that’s jobs and the economy,” said Rep. Waller of Colorado Springs.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

5 Responses to Lakewood Cake Shop Joins Chick-fil-A as Target of Same-Sex Boycott

  1. Nicole oudemhoven
    August 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    To say this is something to distract during election time is turning a blind eye to the basic rights of humanity: EQUALITY!!!

  2. Fabbo
    August 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    What does my heart good is seeing the response from believers of free speech and freedom of religion and the overwhelming support the GLBT community is engendering for these businesses by their actions. I guess they just don’t get it yet. They are an extremely small segment of the population and, frankly, many GLBT people oppose the antics. They preach inclusion and tolerance, but fail miserably to deliver the same.

  3. Meghan
    August 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I think Rep. Waller was correct in his statement about the major issues facing Colorado and the nation are jobs and economy. We live in a great county that grants us freedoms of religion, speech and human rights. We need to respect the reigious rights of the owners of this bakery and Chick-fil-A as well as the countless number of jobs they’ve created.

  4. Concerned
    August 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Is he violating the law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation?

  5. Equality, please.
    August 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Dave Phillips should not be “forced” to make a cake that goes against his religious ideas, but while he’s at it, he should also be asking ALL his customers about whether they are divorced, Jewish, with children out of wedlock, or wearing clothing of mixed fibers, since he insists on throwing stones. People, we live under a state constitution, not the Bible. In the state of Colorado, GLBT people are protected from this sort of discrimination through SB200 (check out coloradoprotectsall.info), signed into law in 2008. If he wants to continue to exclude gay people from the same cake-making he does for straight couples, he needs to change his business license to reflect his obvious homophobia. This is a simple change: he’d need to relabel his business as a private club from public accomodation. Personally, I find it unacceptable in 2012 that people need to hide behind their god as a means to act hatefully: it’s a free country, so Phillips should just put a big old sign on his door saying “No Gays Allowed” or something equally truthful.

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