Cake Wars: Bakery Under Investigation After Refusing To Make An Anti-Gay Cake

Wedding_cake_with_pillar_supports,_2009We have previously discussed (here and here) the growing conflicts over businesses that decline to accommodate same-sex weddings and events in a clash between anti-discrimination and free speech (and free exercise) values. Despite my support for gay rights and same-sex marriage, I have previously written that anti-discrimination laws are threatening the free exercise of religion. Some of these cases involve bakeries that insist that making wedding cakes for same-sex couples violates their religious principles. Now we have a twist on this trending litigation. The Azucar Bakey has been found to have broken discrimination laws by refusing to make an anti-same-sex cake. The bakery was asked to make a Bible-shaped cake with an anti-gay slur and owner Marjorie Silva refused. The customer brought a complaint to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and won.


The customer wanted the bakery to draw two males holding hands with “a big ‘X’ on them.”

Silva identifies herself as a practicing Christian and makes Christian cakes, but balked at making an anti-gay cake at her Lakewood bakery in December 2013. Previously in Colorado, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips broke discrimination laws when he refused to make a cake for the same-sex wedding of Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig in July of 2012. That decision was upheld by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Now we have the flip side. Silva offered to leave the bible page blank to allow the customer (who she describes as disruptive) to write whatever he wanted but she declined to write it herself. Ironically, she could have simply refused to serve him on the basis for any disruption in the store. She was later sent a notice by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) that a religious discrimination complaint has been filed against Azucar Bakery. She has since received a notice from DORA requesting a final letter describing her account of events.

The question raised by these cases is whether anti-discrimination laws are driving too deeply into free speech rights. Bakers and photographers view themselves as engaged in a form of speech generally. The loss of a bright-line defining free speech has meant that we are finding ourselves increasingly on a slippery slope of speech regulation. On the other hand, we fought hard to guarantee accommodation for all races in places of public accommodation. Stores are not allowed to ban black customers under the same rationale. The question is whether there is a difference between refusing to serve customers on the basis for sexual orientation generally as opposed to taking an active or direct role in a same-sex wedding.

Where do you think we should draw the line?

Source: KDVR

270 thoughts on “Cake Wars: Bakery Under Investigation After Refusing To Make An Anti-Gay Cake

  1. Whenever there is extreme social change it takes time for acceptance. The amount of time spent arguing about gay marriage was exhausting. Sometimes when you get your way it’s a good idea to quit complaining. Frequent businesses who have no problems about it.

  2. If a business can refuse to serve those who legally carry a weapon and can ban them from the premises (under threat of a tresspass charge) why can they not choose who to serve based on other criteria?

  3. The dorks who are suing the bakery were on tv tonight and really obnoxious. The world is going to hell without the handbasket.
    [music]
    Pattycake, Pattycake, Bakerman!
    Make me a gay cake fast as you can!
    Pink it and flower it and stamp it with pee.
    Momma don’t hold no candle over me.

  4. If I was a guy running a Jewish bakery I would not want to make a cake for some gay Nazis. And many were gay. And if I was a black guy running a bakery I would not want to make a cake with depictions of the Klan and Jesus on there with gay Klan guys. And if I was a gay guy with a bakery I would not want to bake a cake from some Catholic pedophile priest with a weeny looking like a cross. It is all about the Holy Grail and who went to Yale.

  5. Consumers are free to contract business with whomever they choose, and by the same token, businesses are free to do business or not based on their choice, this of course is in a utopian universe, not the dystopian, politically correct, marxist environment which is becoming more prevalent in the land of the free

  6. This is just another lame attempt to change the subject. The issue is the government forcing religions to provide their sacraments and “blessings” to groups that actively violate and disdain that religions teaching. If they refuse they will penalized out of existence based on the current whims of the progressive elitists.

    That is the end game of the gay mafia.

  7. The “govt. money” is OUR money taken and squandered like a drunken sailor who hit the lottery.

  8. Government money is the Trojan Horse. “I fear the Greeks..err, govt., even when they bear gifts.”

  9. Sorry David I apologize. You did not lie. The example you cite is not what we are talking about. A religious school can have standards. I don’t think they should take government money.

    But I still think the original story is just another Big Liberal Lie.

  10. Cases like these illustrate how the government is rolling in money. They have way too much. It is like if someone just handed you a million dollars and told you to spend it responsibly in one year. You might start looking for whoever is already providing services that you think are good. You give to churches carrying out educational purposes for the disabled, and you give to churches providing food and clothing to the poor. Then if the group does something you dislike, you tell them next year they won’t get any money unless they change their philosophy to be like yours. This is how our culture war got started. Too much money in government.

  11. Knowing both David and Trooper, I assure both of you this was a miscommunication. You guys are simpatico on many topics.

  12. I do agree that church related entities should not take government money. They should be tax exempt but not take any money from the government.

  13. So in other words you lied. This is not a disabled child who was expelled because his parents were gay. The cite is of a gay student who was expelled because he was gay. Not what you said at all.

    As usual you tried to gild the lily by making something up.

    I see nothing wrong with a religious school not accepting someone who has a life style that violates the doctrines of the religion that underlies the school. I would not expect a Madrassa to accept a Jewish student. I wouldn’t expect Howard University to accept a member of the Klan.

    • Trooper, I jumped into the conversation with you and Ross. Ross was the one who made the allegation of a case with gay parent’s and an expelled student. I simply was making the point that his allegation is not that unbelievable. I offered what I presume is a different case that was similar, asking whether it bore any similarity to his case. It is my understanding that Florida leads in ADA fraud cases. His recollection of a case does not seem unbelievable to me. I just don’t know enough to find the case he is talking about.

      There are many religious organizations and churches that accept government money to provide a service. Whether it is the Salvation Army accepting FEMA money to feed the homeless and is thereby restricted from being able to say a prayer before serving the food, or private religious schools accepting money to help educate disabled children, this does go on. Then when a student is expelled, the question arises whether the reason was justified. The acceptance of money by religious groups puts upon them a requirement of being non-sectarian, but sometimes there is not much specificity about what that means. I assume that these schools freely accept disabled children and treat them like everybody else. That is what the law requires. But a school might have a standard of sexual morality (including homosexual, bisexual and heterosexuals equally) that legally can be used as a standard for dismissal. If the government decides that standard is unacceptable, they should not offer them the money, or put a specific condition on acceptance like FEMA did with prohibiting praying over the food bought with FEMA funds.

  14. david, My job was to observe and understand human behavior. While I applaud your efforts to “change them,” it is quixotic. That’s why I fall back to humor, helping me deal w/ the reality of their dysfunctional mindset. I sincerely applaud your efforts. I have endeavored some quixotic campaigns myself. But, not this one.

  15. Buddy give us a cite something anything! Otherwise it is just another Big Liberal Lie that you are so fond of using in a debate. Not providing details about such an outrageous claim does indeed speak volumes.

    I do apologize for calling you Lena Dunham. That was a low blow. Sorry.

  16. When one can no longer continue a debate using facts and logic, that is when they are totally defeated and resort to name-calling! It speaks volumes!

  17. Nick – it’s so true that if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life.

    George: Around a hundred years ago, some cousins on my mother’s side homesteaded some land. Their children, and their children’s children, worked the land, built a reservoir with their own hands, and kept expanding. Now, they own something like 6,000 acres in cattle ranch. The reservoir provides water for free to neighboring ranches. They built their holding over generations with their bare hands and hard work. They still work long hours with grueling physical labor. This estate tax would hit them on the land value alone.

    It’s easy to say that estate taxes don’t matter if they effect “other people.” This is what the “other people” look like, and this is what can possibly be lost. A legacy that took generations to build.

  18. Reading, this morning, the comments by fiver and some others, I think that I have seriously overestimated the mental capacity of the liberals who refuse to understand the first things about business, taxes and other economic realities.

    Second grade was too high.

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