Target: Colorado Attorney General John Suthers
Goal: Charge a Denver Bakery for violating the civil rights of same-sex couples by refusing service
A baker in Denver, Colorado recently garnered national attention after refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. Following further investigation, it was discovered that the bakery had refused service to same-sex couples numerous occasions. Not only is this a violation of business laws, it is a violation of human rights and must be stopped.
Following the incident, Charlie Craig and David Mullins filed a discrimination complaint against Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver. The couple married in Massachusetts and was looking for a cake. When Jack Phillips, the owner, realized that the cake was for the couple themselves, he informed them that he couldn’t serve them without violating his religious faith. Phillips claims that taking their business would have violated his Christian beliefs. “I was angry and I felt dehumanized and mortified,” Mullins said.
The Colorado Attorney General’s office also filed a formal complaint against Masterpiece Cakeshop after the ACLU found out that Phillips had refused to serve other gay couples. If Phillips loses the case, he will be required to “cease and desist” from refusing service to same-sex couples. If Phillips doesn’t comply, he could face fines of $500 per incident and up to a year in prison.
Both Phillips and his lawyer continue to argue that charging him with a crime would violate his freedom of conscience. Many have also come out in support of Phillips and his first amendment rights and “right to refuse service.” What those who support him fail to understand, however, is that while he certainly has the right to his religious beliefs he has willfully entered the public marketplace, which makes him subject to business laws regardless of what he does or does not believe.
Refusing service to same-sex couples is the equivalent of refusing service to someone because of their race or gender. One’s religious beliefs are sacred and personal, but they should never be used to cause harm to someone or disrespect them in any way. Those in the public marketplace have one responsibility, and that is to provide the best products and customer service they can. It is not to pass judgment on those they serve. Jack Phillips violated the civil rights of same-sex couples multiple times and for that he should be punished. Please sign the petition below to demand that he is charged for the crimes he committed.
Dear John Suthers,
You recently filed a complaint against Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, for refusing service to same-sex couples on multiple occasions. Phillips continues to argue that his first amendment rights are being violated and has gained a host of supporters who believe that what he was doing was not only legal, but also morally just. His actions are a clear violation of civil rights. Refusing service to these people simply because of their sexual orientation is no different than refusing to serve them because of their race or gender.
In operating his bakery, Phillips has entered the public marketplace and is subject to the same business laws as everyone else regardless of his religion. He cannot be allowed to continue to pass judgment on those who visit his establishment. Please see that he is charged for his crimes and that he is no longer allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: buccellaassociati via Flickr