The owner of a Colorado bakery said in spite of picket lines and online petitions he will not change a store policy against baking wedding cakes for homosexual couples – a policy that critics call hateful and bigoted.
More than 4,200 people have signed an online petition calling on the Masterpiece Cake Shop to ends its policy banning gay wedding cakes. Over the weekend, several dozen people picketed the privately-owned store in Lakewood, Colo.
“Everyone has the same rights,” one protestor told television station KDVR. “A gay wedding cake, a straight wedding cake – it’s the same thing.”
Jack Phillips, the owner of the cake shop, said his ban on making cakes for gay weddings is a result of his religious beliefs.
“I’m not going to change my business because of a petition,” he told the Denver Post. “I’m just going to do the best I can do to honor Jesus Christ.”
“By denying service to gay couples, they are essentially slapping us all in the face, and I simply cannot stand idly by while such shameful behavior is allowed to continue,” said Macklin MacKenzie, a Denver resident who started the petition.
“I am not sure how the cakes taste, but I know bigotry and hate tastes disgusting,” MacKenzie said.
Phillips found himself in the middle of a controversy several weeks ago when David Mullins and Charlie Craig asked the bakery to make a rainbow cake for their wedding reception.
“He quickly informed us that his business did not provide cakes for gay weddings,” Craig said in a statement. “This moment was offensive, dehumanizing, awkward and quite painful.”
Mullins then cursed the owner, “f*** you and your homophobic cake shop.”
The couple then posted the encounter on Facebook which spread across the nation.
“This was the first time that either of us had ever been turned away from a business because of our sexuality,” Craig said. “The venality of a cake shop denying a loving couple a wedding cake is symbolic of the small thinking that permeates American society.”
But the protests have not hurt business. Phillips told local media that a number of people have either called or dropped by to show their support for his ban on gay wedding cakes.
“I’m a follower of Jesus Christ and you could say it’s a religious belief but I believe the Bible teaches that’s not an okay thing,” he told television station KDVR.