Denver Baker Would Shut Down Before Making Gay Wedding Cake

When Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig went to Masterpiece Cake shop to discuss a cake for their upcoming wedding reception, they weren’t expecting to be shown the door. Jack Phillips, the owner of the bakery, told them he doesn’t make cakes for gay weddings.

“It was the most awkward, surreal, very brief encounter,” Mullins told the Denver Westword. “We got up to leave, and to be totally honest, I said, ‘Fuck you and your homophobic cake shop.’ And I may or may not have flipped him off.”

The story spread like wildfire on Facebook, spawning a Boycott Masterpiece Cakeshop group, hundreds of angry phone calls and emails a day – and even physical protests outside the store.

None of it, says Phillips in an interview with the Westword, is going to change his mind. “If I didn’t have strong convictions about the issue in the first place, it wouldn’t have come up. None of the protests or anything will change that.” He’s even gone so far as to say he’d rather shut down shop than give in to the demands of protestors.

He insists, however, that he’s not a bigot and not discriminating against gay people. Phillips describes himself as against same-sex marriage, but not anti-gay. “If gays come in and want to order birthday cakes or any cakes for any occasion, graduations, or whatever, I have no prejudice against that whatsoever,” Phillips told local CBS affiliate KCNC-TV. “It’s just the wedding cake, not the people, not their lifestyle.”

(Hilariously enough, Phillips did tell one prospective “customer” he’s willing to bake a cake for a “dog wedding.” Apparently this doesn’t violate his conscience or sense of good taste the way a loving union of two committed human adults would. Make of it what you will.)

So he’s happy to take money from the LGBT community as long as he doesn’t have to acknowledge their rights. While the backlash is unlikely to cause a change of heart, it’s pretty easy to understand why the Denver queer community feels the need to publicly call out Phillip’s homophobic attitude.

What do you think? Does protesting a small business like this do more harm than good? Or is it just widening the rift between gay groups and conservatives?

Photo credit: Jennifer Chait via Flickr


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

I think that protesting outside the bakery can have the opposite effect. Theren ca be sympathy towards a small business man. Instead; use the media. Internet is full of social media. Spread the word and in time his business will fail. There are consequences for treating people unfair. And those that still frequent the bakery, may also be subjects to boycotts. Rings on the water.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

Picketing and boycotting often do work to change many companies' policies, but this man is not going to change his mind. You can try to educate the ignorant, but you can't MAKE him change his mind. Some changes take longer than one's lifetime. I'm finding that facts, and often feelings, don't matter to many people.

Kelly R.
Kelly R6 years ago

Danielle K - I was discussing this topic with my 18 year old grandson the other day. His input was that we are always trying to categorize people and then decide that these people need to have these particular "benefits" or "protections". When we should be addressing all as the same and treat each other the same and as long as we do the other it will never work and there will always be issues and anger. Kind of a broad and simple concept and this world doesn't know how to accomplish it. Just saying.

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch6 years ago

It is up to the business's discretion whether or not to do business with anyone. I do not feel it is right, but the owner does have the right to do it.

Remember the sign "No Shoes, No Shirt, No service"? It is up to the establishment to make their rules, however, it doesn't mean we have to frequent the establishment, if we do not agree with them.

nancy d.
nancy B6 years ago

he would cut off his nose to spite his face. I know I would not go to that bakery.

Amanda M.
Amanda M6 years ago

This bigot deserves to see his business drop off. A wedding cake is a wedding cake is a wedding cake, and for someone to refuse to make a cake for a same-sex wedding is just as ridiculous as it would've been for someone to refuse to bake a cake for me and my husband's wedding because we had a Wiccan wedding ceremony instead of a Christian one!

Gina Patterson
Gina Patterson6 years ago

No problem. Let him lose his business over his convictions. Takes care of itself.

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B6 years ago

They do say there's no such thing as bad publicity. Wouldn't like to bet though.

Michael G.
Michael T6 years ago

Glenna, over time I have noticed that there are some folks who can post really long posts in one single go. I can use either IE or Firefox and it doesn’t make a difference.
When I get wordy, I open a word window and begin typing my thoughts. When I am done, I go to the Review Tab click that and after highlighting the text I check how many words there are clicking on the sub tab Word Count.
If the word count is more than 235, I break the post up into smaller chunks of no more than 235 words. Then I copy and paste them individually into a comments window, hit send, and copy and past the next 235. Because there is a latency issue with Care2 on how quickly a post gets added, I don’t worry if I don’t see what I have posted right away. Sometimes, it even looks like my comments are out of order.
If I can remain patient, it eventually appears in the correct order, and all my posts eventually show. But it may take more than an hour sometimes. This is what works best for me so that I don’t get into a thought and lose it because Care2 cuts it off.
I have asked Care2 how I can write without limits, but no one ever responded to me.

Danielle K.
Danielle K6 years ago

Kelly, in this country, religious law is superseded by secular law. Superstition falls to laws based in human dignity. There are laws against discrimination in this country. I mean, if you belonged to a sect that believed non-whites were inferior to whites and found biblical justification for it, you would not be able to use that as an excuse for discriminating against a black couple. Or an interracial couple.

As Shan points out, her pride in her work and her desire to earn a living override any distaste she may feel towards Christianity. Too bad the baker didn't feel the same way.

Again: Gay people don't choose to be the way they are. They are not pushing anything in anyone's face (unlike, say, certain religious people), but they are standing up and demanding the same rights straights have.