(DENVER) — A Colorado judge ruled Friday that a local bakery unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple after the shopowner refused to sell them a wedding cake.
Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo. denied service to David Mullins and Charlie Craig last year when they sought to order a cake for their wedding reception. Colorado state law prohibits businesses from refusing service based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.
Judge Robert N. Spencer of the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts ruled Friday that the cakeshop was in violation of the law.
When Mullins and Craig visited the business in 2012, the shop’s owner, Jack Phillips, informed the couple that the store policy was to deny service to customers who wished to order baked goods for a same-sex wedding, based on his religious beliefs.
The couple planned to marry in Massachusetts and celebrate with family and friends in Colorado.
“Being denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop was offensive and dehumanizing especially in the midst of arranging what should be a joyful family celebration,” Mullins said in statement. “No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are. We are grateful to have the support of our community and our state, and we hope that today’s decision will help ensure that no one else will experience this kind of discrimination again in Colorado.”
After the incident, Mullins and Craig filed complaints with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, which ruled that Phillips illegally discriminated against the couple.
The shopowner admitted to turning away other same-sex couples as a matter of policy, but the CCRD’s decision showed evidence that he expressed a willingness to take a cake order for the “marriage” of two dogs, but not for two women.
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