A bakery in Colorado that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple has said that despite the controversy, it has seen its business more than double in the past few days.
"[On Monday] we had about twice as much business as normal," said Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood. "There are people coming in to support us."
"I'm a follower of Jesus Christ, so you could say this is a religious belief. I believe the Bible teaches that [homosexuality] is not an OK thing," he added, clarifying his stance.
Phillips refused to bake a care for a gay couple's wedding when they asked for one on July 19, KCNC-TV reported, which angered the local gay rights community who are seeing it as a civil rights issue.
"My first comment was, 'We're getting married,' and he just shut that down immediately," said Charlie Craig, who is planning on marrying his long-term partner Dave Millian. He added that he shared this incident on Facebook, which encouraged an outpouring of support.
The response was so widespread that a dozen protestors gathered outside the bakery over the weekend to voice their anger at the store's owner.
"I support local business, I think it's really important to our community to support local business," said one protester, Cate Owen. "If it has to do with discrimination I don't think we should support it. I think we should want to change their policies. It's not like we want to shut them down."
A Facebook page titled "Boycott Masterpiece Bakeshop" also quickly gathered over 200 members.
Phillips insisted, however, that this issue was strictly with making the couple a wedding cake – a cake for any other occasion would have been fine.
"If gays come in and want to order birthday cakes or any cakes for any occasion, graduations, or whatever, I have no prejudice against that whatsoever," the store owner began. "It's just the wedding cake, not the people, not their lifestyle."
He added that this was not the first time he had said no to a gay couple wanting a wedding cake, but he had never received such backlash before for standing up for what he calls his Christian principles. The store owner even revealed that he had received death threats, and on Sunday was forced to call the police in fear of his safety.
Phillips concluded that he does not believe his refusal to service same-sex couples looking for a wedding cake makes him homophobic.