Should Bakers Be Forced To Put Anti-Gay Messages On Cakes?

Frosting for thought

Colorado baker faces complaint for refusing anti-gay message on cake

A dispute over a cake in Colorado raises a new question about gay rights and religious freedom: If bakers can be fined for refusing to serve married gay couples, can they also be punished for declining to make a cake with anti-gay statements?

A baker in suburban Denver who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding is fighting a legal order requiring him to serve gay couples even though he argued that would violate his religious beliefs.

But now a separate case puts a twist in the debate over discrimination in public businesses, and it underscores the tensions that can arise when religious freedom intersects with a growing acceptance of gay couples.

Marjorie Silva, owner of Denver’s Azucar Bakery, is facing a complaint from a customer alleging she discriminated against his religious beliefs.

According to Silva, the man who visited last year wanted a Bible-shaped cake, which she agreed to make. Just as they were getting ready to complete the order, Silva said the man showed her a piece of paper with hateful words about gays that he wanted written on the cake. He also wanted the cake to have two men holding hands and an X on top of them, Silva said.

She refused to put the “hateful words” on the cake, and nowhere within the Associated Press article are those words laid out. She offered the man, Bill Jack of Castle Rock, icing to do it himself. He was upset, so he has filed suit with Colorado’s Civil Rights Division. The Washington Post reports that one of the phrases he wanted was “God Hates Gays”. The Christian Science Monitor notes Mr. Jack wanted “anti-gay passages he said were from the Bible.”

But gay rights advocates say there is a significant difference in the cases. Silva refused to put specific words on a cake while Jack Phillips, the baker who turned away the gay couple, refused to make any wedding cake for them in principle.

“There’s no law that says that a cake-maker has to write obscenities in the cake just because the customer wants it,” said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Colorado.

Perhaps the ACLU of Colorado can tell us exactly what the obscenities are? Because I haven’t seen any as of yet. But, of course, the ACLU, along with all those who are “defending” the bakery, will find all sorts of excuses to find a way to make sure that discrimination a one way affair. What if a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc baker feels that a cake with a pro-gay message is “obscene”?

The case comes as Republicans in Colorado’s Legislature talk about changing the state law requiring that businesses serve gays in the wake of a series of incidents where religious business owners rejected orders to celebrate gay weddings. Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg said the new case shows a “clash of values” and argued Colorado’s public accommodation law is not working.

“The state shouldn’t come in and say to the individual businessman, ‘You must violate your religious — and I’ll say religious-slash-moral convictions. This baker (Silva), thought that was a violation of their moral convictions. The other baker, which we all know very well because of all the stories, clearly that was a violation of their religious convictions,” Lundberg said.

I will fully admit, I have to wonder if this was a setup. However, regardless, I think the baker has the best idea. The baker makes the cake, and gives the purchaser some icing to write their own message. If they don’t like it, they can take their business elsewhere. If I don’t like the way someone does business, I don’t bother doing business with them. There is a nationwide chain at Crabtree Valley Mall that, as of the last time I was there a few years ago, only took credit, not debit. They never asked for ID nor looked at my checkcard with my face on it, hence, I do not trust them. I walked out of a car dealership recently because I didn’t like the way a sales manager berated sales associates on the sale floor in view of other employees and customers. I could mention lots more, and I bet you could, too.

What if someone wanted to put a pro-NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) message on a cake? Or, say, went into a baker who obviously was pro-Obama, and wanted an anti-Obama message? Should they be forced to make the cakes?

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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7 Responses to “Should Bakers Be Forced To Put Anti-Gay Messages On Cakes?”

  1. Hank_M says:

    The gay rights activists are wrong. In both cases, customers are forcing the bakers to do something that violates their moral convictions.

    I agree the baker has a great compromise but I’d bet anything that the gay couple in suburban Denver wouldn’t have accepted a similar compromise.

  2. Deserttrek says:

    the baker should be forced to bake the cake if others are forced to do things against their morals also … the gay agenda of hate and discrimination is coming back to bite them
    either everybody has freedom to choose or nobody does

  3. gitarcarver says:

    This and other cases are where two rights collide. By far, these are the toughest cases to decide.

    On one hand, you have the right of the purchaser to engage in the marketplace in order to pursue their happiness. On the other hand, you have a business who has a moral or religious conviction.

    The Founding Fathers were aware of this conflict and at the time, the accepted course of action was to take the “path of least resistance.”

    That meant that if there was another baker in town, the customer could take their business elsewhere.

    Instead, what we have is the government intrusion into what is clearly a protected, individual right.

    Some will say “well, what happens if a black customer gets turned away for so called ‘religious reasons?'”

    That’s a great question but irrelevant. The government should not force people to violate their rights one the assumption that another difficult scenario may come up in the future.

    (What is really sad is that people go to bakeries, photographers, artists, etc for their artistic skill. The Supreme Court has ruled that art is a form of protected speech. Yet the Regulatory Agencies refuse to acknowledge that fact and say the artistic expression is the same as a hamburger at McDonalds.)

  4. Jeffery says:

    Can bakers who run a business open to the public refuse to serve Blacks, Mormons, disabled? (Remember – local governments require business licenses, corporations may be people, my friend, but they are people created by government).


    Can a Christian baker refuse to serve a Muslim?


    But are they compelled by law to put offensive or obscene messages on cakes? (God hates n****rs, God hates magic drawers, God hates cripples etc).


    Do you find it unfair that bakers aren’t required by law to scroll “God Hates N****rs!” on a cake? Why would you want the law to compel “God Hates Fags!”?

    This hardly seems like an important civil rights case. Of course, Christian business owners claim that serving gays violates their religious freedom, a policy which even a moment’s thought shows is fraught with dangers. Can a Muslim-owned business open to serve the public refuse to serve infidel Christians?

    As a society, we’re sorting out whether sexual orientation will receive the same civil rights protections as race, religion, national origin, gender, veterans status, age, etc.

    I will fully admit, I have to wonder if this was a setup.

    Your suspicions are likely right.

  5. gitarcarver says:

    Can bakers who run a business open to the public refuse to serve Blacks, Mormons, disabled?

    That depends on what is being served.

    For example, a diner that makes hamburgers should not be able to refuse someone who comes in and wants a hamburger.

    The real question comes in when the business is asked or forced to create / make something “special.” (Should a Muslim owned diner be forced to create a hamburger with bacon on it?)

    For example, should an advertising agency run by a Jewish family be required to do business with a company that denies the Holocaust and wants that denial on billboards, flyers, etc as part of an ad campaign? Should a bakery run by a gay couple be forced to create a cake for a special occasion that says “Homosexuality is an abomination?” Should a copy writer be forced to write copy for a white supremacy group? Should a Muslim caterer be forced to cater an event and serve pork products?

    But are they compelled by law to put offensive or obscene messages on cakes? (God hates n****rs, God hates magic drawers, God hates cripples etc).

    Yes. They are. That is the basis of the complaint here and in other cases. Secondly, who decides what is “offensive or obscene?”

    Of course, Christian business owners claim that serving gays violates their religious freedom…..

    That is not the claim at all. The claim is that the should not be forced to create something that advocates or advances something that is against their religious beliefs. If a gay person wants to walk into the bakery and picks out a cupcake or a premade chocolate cake, no bakery has refused serving the gay person for that.

    Your suspicions are likely right.

    Probably. But the same setup occurred in the Denver bakery case where the gay couple by passed some 13 bakeries to come to the one they knew was owned by a Christian.

  6. But are they compelled by law to put offensive or obscene messages on cakes? (God hates n****rs, God hates magic drawers, God hates cripples etc).


    Yet, those bakers who do not approve of gay marriage have been fined and stuff for refusing to put what they find to be offensive on cakes, and for refusing to bake cakes for gays, which they find offensive.

    There needs to be one standard, Jeff.

  7. gitarcarver says:

    There needs to be one standard, Jeff.

    One of the interesting conundrums about this issue is say for a moment the owner of the bakery has a staff who objects to a special created cake because of “deeply held religious or moral convictions.”

    That employee can refuse to work on the cake and there is NOTHING the owner can do about it.

    So on one hand the government demands the religious / moral accommodation of a employee but will not allow a similar accommodation for the owner of the business if he doesn’t want to create something that is against his “deeply held religious or moral convictions.”

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