In a bizarre new twist on the religious liberty front, Colorado officials have determined that bakeries must cater to proponents of gay marriage but are not legally obliged to decorate cakes with Bible verses.
Christian activist Bill Jack has denounced a decision by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, which found Azucar Bakery in Denver not guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a cake adorned with Bible quotes condemning sodomy.
Last March, Jack went to Azucar Bakery and requested two cakes to be decorated with biblical messages.
“I requested two cakes, each in the shape of an open Bible. On the first cake I requested on one page, ‘God hates sin — Psalm 45:7,’ and on the facing page, ‘Homosexuality is a detestable sin — Leviticus 18:22,’” Jack said.
Jack also said:
On the second cake I requested on one page, “God loves sinners,” and on the facing page, “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us – Romans 5:8.” I also requested a decoration of two groomsmen holding hands with a cross in the background with a ghostbusters symbol over it to illustrate that such a union is unacceptable biblically.
On Good Friday, the Department of Regulatory Agencies handed down its decision that refusing such a request did not constitute discrimination.
Jack has decried what he calls the “hypocrisy” of the decision, after the same department found a Christian baker guilty of discrimination for declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding.
According to Jack:
Colorado prosecuted Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop for bringing his Christian faith to bear in his decision not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, yet business owners who decide to refuse service to a Christian wanting Bible verses on cakes are exonerated by the state.
In 2012, a homosexual couple sued Phillips after he refused to make a cake to celebrate their marriage. An administrative law judge ruled against him, and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission agreed.
In December, 2013, Judge Robert N. Spencer handed down his decision that the “undisputed facts” show that Phillips “discriminated against complainants because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage.”
In point of fact, however, Phillips had made it clear that he was happy to serve homosexuals, and he agreed to make the couple other baked goods, but he said his Christian beliefs prohibited him from making a cake for the gay wedding.
“I told David and Charlie when they came in that I would sell them cookies and brownies and birthday cakes and shower cakes. I just don’t do the same-sex wedding cake,” he said.
The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act “is being used to censor Christian business owners’ free speech and is being used to coerce them to participate in events that violate their consciences,” Jack complained.
Jack added that he is “in the process of filing an appeal with the CCRD” over its “hypocrisy and unequal treatment before the law.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.