Religion

Christian Baker: Threats For Refusing Gay Wedding Cakes

| by Michael Allen
Gay Wedding CakeGay Wedding Cake

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, says he has received death threats and negative online reviews because he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in 2012.

Phillips told Fox News there have been hateful comments directed against his wife and daughter.

"In all of this, the threats against me or disparaging comments, the worst part is that I have to answer the phone so they’re not threatening my wife or my daughter when they pick it up," he said. "They don’t wait to see who’s on the phone. You pick up the phone, they’re already talking."

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission and a Colorado appeals court have both ruled against Phillips for discriminating against the same-sex couple.

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The 2015 appeals court ruling said: "Masterpiece [Cakeshop] does not convey a message supporting same-sex marriages merely by abiding by the law and serving its customers equally," notes The New York Times.

Phillips has since appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear it this year.

Phillips said he did not refuse service to the same-sex couple when he refused to make the cake, per his religious beliefs. Rather, he insisted that he chose not to actively participate in the gay wedding by baking the tasty treat. The high court will decide if baking a cake qualifies as actively participating in a same-sex wedding ceremony.

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David Mullins, one of the gay men who tried to buy the wedding cake, said in a statement: "This has always been about more than a cake. Businesses should not be allowed to violate the law and discriminate against us because of who we are and who we love."

According to Phillips, he received a call from a man telling him that he knew that Phillips' daughter worked at the bakery, gave driving instructions to the bakery and said he intended to kill Phillips and his daughter.

"It could have just been somebody calling and they knew the area, and it could have been someone in Connecticut looking at a map," Phillips said. "But they knew that Lisa was there."

Phillips did not say if he called the police about the death threats.

Phillips was also upset when Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner Diann Rice wrote a brief about the case.

"Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust," Rice said. "I mean, we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination."

While Rice was historically correct, Phillips took offense because his dad was injured while helping to liberate a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.

"For her to compare standing for my faith and not making a cake to Hitler’s atrocities just is unspeakable," Phillips stated.

As a matter of record, Colorado's public accommodations law against discrimination does not apply solely to Christians or any other specific religion, but rather to all residents. The law does not allow businesses that serve the public to refuse service to people based on their sexual orientation.

ACLU spokesman Mark Silverstein told KCNC: "Religious freedom does not give you the right to discriminate."

Phillips told the news station that making a cake that celebrates same-sex marriage violates his religious beliefs, and that his cakes are his artistic expression: "I create canvas. I also create the paints and then I create the art."

KCNC noted that if Phillips wins, that would likely open the door for other businesses to refuse to serve gay people's weddings.

Sources: Fox News, KCNC, The New York Times / Photo Credit: Bev Sykes/Flickr, Stefano Bolognini/Wikimedia Commons, Giovanni Dall'Orto/Wikimedia Commons

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