Bakeries Can Refuse Bible Verses But Not Gay Weddings, Colorado Decides
A bakery in Colorado will not be punished for refusing to bake a cake requested by a Christian activist that included quotes from the Bible denouncing homosexuality.
Azucar Bakery in Denver was found not guilty of discrimination by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies when it refused to make a cake requested by Christian activist Bill Jack.
In comments sent to The Christian Post on Sunday, Jack denounced the decision by the Civil Rights Division and its use of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.
"Colorado prosecuted Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop for bringing his Christian faith to bear in his decision not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, yet business owners who decide to refuse service to a Christian wanting Bible verses on cakes are exonerated by the state," stated Jack.
"CADA is being used to censor Christian business owners' free speech and is being used to coerce them to participate in events that violate their consciences."
Jack added that he's "in the process of filing an appeal with the CCRD" over what he calls "hypocrisy and unequal treatment before the law."
Last March, Jack went to Azucar Bakery and made a request for two cakes that had biblical messages, including a statement and image denouncing homosexuality.
In an interview with CP in January, Jack described what he wanted, noting that contrary to initial reports he did not request a cake with the statement "God hates gays."
"I requested two cakes each in the shape of an open Bible. On the first cake I requested on one page, 'God hates sin — Psalm 45:7,' and on the facing page, 'Homosexuality is a detestable sin — Leviticus 18:22'," Jack explained.
"On the second cake I requested on one page, 'God loves sinners,' and on the facing page, 'While we were yet sinners Christ died for us — Romans 5:8.' I also requested a decoration of two groomsmen holding hands with a cross in the background with a ghostbusters symbol over it to illustrate that such a union is unacceptable biblically."
Azucar is not the first business to face legal issues over expression regarding homosexuality, but it might be the first to face legal action for refusing to cater to a message that opposes homosexuality.
In 2012 Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cake, also in Colorado, was sued for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.
Phillips agreed to make the couple other baked items, but he said his Christian beliefs prohibited him from fulfilling the request to make a cake for the gay wedding.
In response the gay couple filed a complaint against Phillips, leading to the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruling that Masterpiece was guilty of discrimination.
"The undisputed facts show that (Phillips) discriminated against complainants because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage," wrote Judge Robert N. Spencer in his December 2013 decision.
On their Facebook page, Azucar Bakery posted a couple links to news stories covering the CCRD decision in their favor. Each link put on the page garnered hundreds of likes and scores of shares, as well as mostly positive comments from LGBT advocates and those who support gay marriage.