The identity of the man who filed a religious discrimination complaint against a Colorado bakery because it wouldn't put an antigay message on a cake has been revealed.
He is Bill Jack, one of the founders of Worldview Academy, Denver TV station KDVR reports. Worldview Academy is a Christian organization that holds conventions, conferences and youth camps meant to "train Christians to think and live in accord with a biblical worldview," according to its website.
Jack's bio on the site states, "As a founder of Worldview Academy he continues to pursue his passion to raise up a generation who have the vision to reach their culture with the gospel, who have the valor to engage that culture with the truth and who rely on the virtue of the Word of God."
Jack, who lives in Castle Rock, Colo., is reportedly the man who last March went to the Azucar Bakery in Denver and asked for a cake to be decorated with anti-LGBT words and imagery. The bakery staff refused to decorate a cake in such a manner and suggested that they could instead sell Jack the supplies to add the decoration to the cake himself.
"I would like to make it clear that we never refused service. We only refused to write and draw what we felt was discriminatory against gays. In the same manner we would not ... make a discriminatory cake against Christians, we will not make one that discriminates against gays," Azucar owner Marjorie Silva said in a statement submitted to the state's Department of Regulatory Agencies.
As for Jack, his wife provided this statement to KDVR on his behalf: "I believe I was discriminated against by the bakery based on my creed. As a result, I filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights division. Out of respect for the process, I will wait for the director to release his findings before making further comments."
Worldview's site today posted a message addressing what it calls "actions taken by Bill Jack as a private citizen." It continues, "Worldview Academy believes that God unconditionally loves every person. We also believe in liberty and justice for all. Consequently, we support the Colorado bakery owner's right -- and the right of all other bakery owners -- to not undertake work which would violate their core beliefs. Randy Sims, Executive Director of Worldview Academy said, 'We believe that the right of conscience should be guaranteed to all people equally and fairly.' Bill Jack is a frequent speaker at Worldview Academy summer camps that train students how to live their faith in truth and grace."
Jack's religious discrimination complaint follows the case of another Colorado bakery: Jack Phillips was found guilty of discrimination in 2013 because his Masterpiece Cakeshop would not make a cake for a same-sex wedding.
One ultraconservative Colorado Christian activist, the antigay preacher and newly elected state representative Gordon Klingenschmitt, sided with Phillips but is actually siding with Silva in the new controversy. Business owners, whatever their beliefs, should not be compelled to violate those beliefs because of antidiscrimination laws, Klingenschmitt told KDVR. He said he is drafting a bill that would "repair an existing flaw in Colorado's nondiscrimination statues."
"These laws have no religious or free speech exemptions," Klingenschmitt said. "So right now there's a loophole that's allowing these bakers to be brought up on charges of discrimination. I think the loophole ought to be fixed so that every baker, every artist, every person in Colorado is not compelled by the government to produced anything they personally disagree with."
Some activists, though, say that refusing to participate in hate speech is different from refusing to serve a customer because of that customer's identity. The Colorado clash also follows last year's efforts by anti-LGBT activist Theodore Shoebat attempting to paint bakeries as hypocritical for refusing to put the words "gay marriage is wrong" on a cake. The LGBT organiztion Truth Wins Out noted that antigay activist Peter LaBarbera has posted a series of Shoebat's videos, purportedly to show that bakers are discriminating against Christians.
In a press release issued today, Truth Wins Out asserted, "There is indeed a nuanced difference between a bakery's refusal to make a cake for a wedding because the customers are gay and a refusal to participate in hate speech at a customer's behest, hate speech which does not have anything to do with a person's religious beliefs. We are one hundred percent certain that if a normal Christian customer called any of Shoebat's targeted bakeries and asked for a cake for their Sunday School class, each and every one of them would respond joyfully and promptly.
"However, Truth Wins Out wants bakeries around the nation, especially those owned or operated by LGBT people, to be aware that their establishments may be targeted next by young Shoebat or any number of other anti-gay people who find this idea clever. Normal people do not call bakeries asking for God Hates Fags cakes, so if your establishment receives that call, please be aware that the caller does not want a cake at all, but to make a bizarre political statement that plays into fantasies of victimhood at the hands of the 'homosexual agenda.'"