Panel: US baker must make cakes for gay weddings
DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission on Friday ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections did not outweigh the state’s anti-discrimination statutes.
The unanimous ruling from the seven-member commission upheld a judge’s finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012. The couple sued.
Phillips said the decision violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of his religion. “I will stand by my convictions until somebody shuts me down,” he told reporters.
State law prohibits businesses from refusing to serve customers based on their sexual orientation.
The couple who sued Phillips, Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, were pleased that the commission rejected Phillips’ arguments. “We’re just thrilled by that,” Mullins said.
Gay marriage remains illegal in Colorado. Mullins and Craig were married in Massachusetts and wanted a wedding cake for a reception to celebrate their union back home.
The panel ordered Phillips to stop discriminating against gay people and to report quarterly for two years on staff anti-discrimination training and any customers he refuses to serve.
Phillips’ attorney said she was considering appealing the ruling.