Colorado Court: Baker's Religion Is No Excuse for Discrimination

Colorado Court: Baker's Religion Is No Excuse for Discrimination

A Colorado court has ruled that a Denver baker can't refuse service to same-sex couples due to religious beliefs.

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that such practices would lead to discrimination, reports the Associated Press

In this case, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips, cited his Christian beliefs as the reason for refusing to bake a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and Greg Mullins in 2012. The couple had commissioned the baked goods after moving to Colorado from Massachusetts, where they married.

The unanimous decision maintained that "discrimination on the basis of one’s opposition to same-sex marriage is discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

It affirms several previous rulings, by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2014 and the Colorado Civil Rights Division in 2013, which found that Phillips violated the state's nondiscrimination law. Same-sex marriage was legalized in Colorado in October 2014.

His lawyers say they may appeal Thursday's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling is the latest victory for the LGBT community in the ongoing battle against business owners who cite so-called religious freedom as justification for discrimination.

Recently, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, an Oregon bakery, was ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple they turned away. However, they have since raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in crowdfunding to more than compensate for their fine.

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