US: Baker faces jail over gay wedding cake refusal

Tue, 16 Jul 2013

A baker in the US state of Colorado is facing a possible jail sentence because he declined to make a cake for a gay wedding.

At the time of the incident last year, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was a criminal offence in the state.

The lawyer for Christian baker Jack Phillips said: “The complainants can sue him civilly in the regular courts system or he can potentially be prosecuted by the district attorney for up to twelve months in jail.”

Beliefs

Mr Phillips, one of the owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop, said providing a cake for Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig went against his Christian beliefs about marriage.

Mr Mullins and Mr Craig took the baker to the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) which ruled that Mr Phillips had broken the law, prompting the Attorney General’s office to file a complaint against the bakery.

The case is scheduled for a hearing in September before Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission.

Legal

Gay marriage is not legal in the state, and the couple married in Massachusetts then planned to celebrate in Colorado.

Earlier this year a Christian florist received an arson threat for her stance against gay marriage.

Barronelle Stutzman received hate mail as well as the threat to burn down her shop after she declined to provide flowers for a gay wedding.

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