We’ve all heard about Christian bakeries getting sued because they refused to make a cake for a gay person. But now a pro-equality baker is facing a complaint from a right-wing nut who wanted an obscene anti-gay dessert.
Marjorie Silva, the owner of Azucar Bakery in Denver, says she makes Christian-themed cakes all the time, but a recent request from a “professional-looking” older man made her blanche. “He wanted us to write God hates …” an employee started to explain to Out Front, before pausing. “Just really radical stuff against gays.”
Silva says she wasn’t allowed to make a copy of the inscription, “but it was really hateful,—I remember the words ’detestable,’ ’disgrace,’ ’homosexuality,’ and ’sinners.”
Aware of the delicate legal situation, Silva says she was careful not to outright refuse the man service.
“I told him that I would bake the cake in the shape of a Bible,” says Marjorie. “Then I told him I’d sell him a [decorating] bag with the right tip and the right icing so he could write those things himself.” She adds that naturally the cake wouldn’t have her handwriting expertise, but she would be devastated to release a cake via the bakery with such a hateful message fashioned by her own hands.
Table-side negotiations quickly broke down. “He told me I needed to talk to my attorney about this,” Marjorie says. Then, he left.
A few hours later, however, he was back, asking Marjorie if she’d conferred with her lawyer over the matter. She hadn’t.
“I was busy,” she says. “I have a business to run here.”
Marjorie, who has provided cakes for same-sex weddings and supported the plaintiffs who sued Masterpiece Cakeshop, says she felt like the man was trying to make a scene. “He was being really pushy and disruptive about his order,” she recalls. “He said, ‘You will hear from me!’ and I got scared.”
She did hear from him—indirectly—when she received a notice filed with Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), explaining that a discrimination complaint had been filed against Azucar bakery, and she would need to respond with her side of the story.
In her response she wrote:
I can tell you that the customer wanted us to draw two males holding hands … with a big ‘X’ on them. I told him that we do not like to discriminate in this bakery, we accept all humans and that the message and drawing is extremely rude.
According to another employee, the man also wanted an open book with the words “god hates homosexuality,” a scripture, and the Ghostbusters logo. Because, why not?
“I would like to make it clear that we never refused service,” says Silva. “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.”
She added, “I’m not sure if I made the right decision [legally], but it felt right to me as a person.”