Denied of Wedding Cake, US Gay Couple Press Discrimination Charges Against Christian Baker
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 7, 2013 12:52 PM EST
Just as the world gets to slowly accept same-sex marriages, a reversal of roles seem to be happening. If a same-sex couple gets rejected of a request, a thin dividing line ensues of differing personal and professional beliefs.
A Colorado bakery is currently in hot waters after a gay couple pressed discrimination charges for refusing them a rainbow layer wedding cake in 2012. David Mullins and Charlie Craig, who were married in Massachusetts, further alleged they were not the first gay or same-sex couples that the Masterpiece Cakeshop, owned by Jack Phillips, turned down.
In denying the couple of their request, Mr Phillips argued making them a wedding cake violates his Christian religious beliefs. He even said he would gladly sell gay people other goods but just not a wedding cake.
"We are all entitled to our religious beliefs and we fight for that," Mark Silverstein, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Colorado, said.
"But someone's personal religious beliefs don't justify breaking the law by discriminating against others in the public sphere."
The formal complaint against Mr Phillips was lodged last week by the Colorado Attorney General's office, after the American Civil Liberties Union initiated the process last year. Essentially, the complainants wants the bakery to "cease and desist" the practice of refusing wedding cakes for gay couples, as well as make its business available and open to everyone.
The ACLU in Colorado likewise believed Mr Phillips had been "using beliefs as an excuse to disrespect and discriminate against customers." Two other gay couples had been refused a wedding cake from the same shop.
But Nicolle Martin, lawyer for Mr Phillips, said the baker is entitled to reject their request. "At its heart, this is a case about conscience."
"I just don't think that we should heighten one person's beliefs over and above another person's beliefs," she added.
So where does the dividing line between discrimination and personal religious beliefs highlight?
"The only logical conclusion we can come to is that the same-sex couples planning their wedding thought that all mainstream bakeries should be required to accommodate their religious preferences (and holding a same-sex wedding is definitely a statement of religious preferences) because the couple believe, as their president (Obama) has famously said, that America is no longer a Christian nation," Jack Kemp, a writer at American Thinker, said.
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