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Twist on Cake Case Raises Questions on Speech Rights

01-23-2015
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A dispute over a cake design is raising questions about gay rights and religious freedom.

On Wednesday, a customer filed a complaint against the owner of a Colorado bakery for refusing to write the message "God Hates Gays" on a Bible-shaped cake.

"If he wants to hate people, he can hate them - not here in my bakery," Majorie Silva, owner of the Azucar bakery in suburban Denver, said.

Silva did eventually agree to make the Bible cake, but did not write the message. She gave the man the tools to write the message himself.

The incident happenened last March, and now the customer is filing a complaint saying Silva violated his religious beliefs.

Colorado's Civil Rights Division will decide soon whether to hear the case.

This situation raises the question -- if bakers can be fined for refusing to make cakes for same-sex weddings, can they also be punished for declining to make a Bible-shaped cake that condemns gay marriage?

A baker in suburban Denver who refused to make a cake for same-sex weddings has been fighting a legal order requiring him to do so even if that violates his Christian beliefs.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that the move was discriminatory.

Meanwhile, Focus on the Family has come out in support of the the Azucar bakery.

"This is a free speech issue, and we support freedom of speech. It's also a religious or conscience issue — the government should not force people to violate their core beliefs," Jeff Johnston, an issues analyst for Focus on the Family, told The Christian Post.

"Just as a Christian baker should not be required to create a cake for a same-sex ceremony, this baker should not be required to create a cake with a message that goes against her conscience," he explained.

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