Couple Refused by Masterpiece Cakeshop: Businesses Open to the Public Have to ‘Serve the Public Equally’

On Monday’s “MSNBC Live,” David Mullins and Charlie Craig, who were refused service by Masterpiece Cakeshop, the business in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case headed to the Supreme Court discussed the case and argued that businesses open to the public need to serve the public equally.

Mullins said that they went to Masterpiece after it was suggested by their reception planner and the owner immediately asked who the cake was for and then informed them that he wouldn’t bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. He described their feeling after they were refused a wedding cake as “mortified and humiliated, and the fact that Charlie’s mother was there just made this all the worse.”

Mullins answered a question on an op-ed written by Masterpiece’s owner, Jack Phillips, where Phillips argues that cakes aren’t merely food, they’re art by stating they were looking for food to serve, and “when you’re open to the public, we feel like it’s important that you serve the public equally.”

Craig responded to a statement by the Conference of Catholic Bishops that the case is about the freedom to follow your religious beliefs by saying, “Right. So, when a business decides to open its doors to the public, they need to serve the public equally. And you know, this whole time, that’s what we’ve been asking for, is just to be treated equally in the public. And the reason why we’re here today is because we’ve heard so many stories of discrimination, nationwide, over the past five years. And you know, we’re standing up for ourselves in this, but we’re standing up for all these other people, so they don’t have to go through the same thing that we had to go through.”

Mullins added, “I would also just like to add that religious freedom is fundamental and essential to our country. And that’s why it is protected in the Constitution. But you cannot practice your faith in a way that denigrates others or excludes them from public life.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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