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Jun 8, 2013 1:07 PM by Eric Ross

Gay couple denied wedding cake heading to court

The Colorado Attorney General's office filed a formal complaint last week in a discrimination case against a suburban Denver cake and coffee shop after refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

It's a story that's sparked controversy since the American Civil Liberties Union got involved in the case in the summer of 2012.

"We believe that this was a pretty clear cut case of discrimination," ACLU Legal Director Mark Silverstein said.

Dave Mullins, 28, and Charlie Craig, 33, are the plaintiffs in a discrimination complaint now making national headlines. When the couple was denied a wedding cake by Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, they took their protest to the streets.

Combined with widespread media attention, Masterpiece Cakeshop has lawyered up.

"He (Phillips) is not discriminating against anyone and has not discriminated against anyone in the 20 years he's been serving the community," attorney Nicolle Martin said.

Martin tells News 5 the decision not to make the cake fell heavily on Phillips' religious beliefs.

"Family businesses have constitutional guarantees to live and work according to their religious beliefs," Martin said. "The State of Colorado should not be forcing anyone to decide between your beliefs and your paycheck."

Some will agree that as a small business, the owner should have the right to deny service based on their beliefs.

"We're standing up for him (Phillips) and we're standing up for his business," one customer said.

Whether you oppose or support Phillip's decision, it's an issue that will be decided in the hands of the court system.

"Someone's personal religious beliefs don't justify breaking the law by discriminating against others in the public sphere," Silverstein said.

A hearing is scheduled in September.

 

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