Marjorie Silva, owner of Azucar Bakery in Denver, Colorado, has been slapped with a religious discrimination complaint after refusing to write anti-LGBT messages on a cake.
“We make (Christian-themed) cakes all the time,” she told Out Front. “No problem at all.”
However, an unnamed customer approached her on March 13, 2014, and asked if the bakery could create a Bible-shaped cake. He then brandished a pamphlet at Silva asking her to write its message on the cake.
“He wanted us to write God hates …” she trailed. “Just really radical stuff against gays.”
“He wouldn’t allow me to make a copy of the message, but it was really hateful,” Silva said. “I remember the words detestable, disgrace, homosexuality and sinners.”
The incident was uncomfortable for Silva and her employees, but she attempted to compromise. “I told him that I would bake the cake in the shape of a Bible,” she said. “Then I told him I’d sell him a (decorating) bag with the right tip and the right icing so he could write those things himself.”
The man left after telling Silva she needed to confer with a lawyer, but returned twice that day to confront her. On the man’s third visit, Silva grew so uncomfortable she asked her brother to help.
“I think he was looking for trouble at that point,” Lindsay Jones, a pastry chef at Azucar Bakery, said. “He was being really pushy and disruptive about his order.”
Silva later received a letter from Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) asking that she provide an account of what happened that day. Part of her reply to DORA read: “I can … tell you that the customer wanted us to draw two males holding hands … with a big ‘X’ on them. I told him that we do not like to discriminate in this bakery, we accept all humans and that the message and drawing is extremely rude.”
She added that her bakery never refused service to the man. “We only refused to write and draw what we felt was discriminatory against gays,” she wrote. "In the same manner we would not … make a discriminatory cake against Christians, we will not make one that discriminates against gays."
Silva stands by her decision. “I’m not sure if I made the right decision (legally),” she said. “But it felt right to me as a person.”