Dinner Table Conversation: What Does Cake Have to Do with Religion?

October 13, 2017

Have you ever seen a wedding cake? They can be as simple or as elaborate as one can dream up—some might even consider their wedding cake a piece of art. That’s why many couples spend a lot of time finding the perfect baker who will make their perfect wedding cake.

When David Mullins and Charlie Craig, a gay couple from Colorado, decided to get married in 2012, they reached out to Jack Phillips, owner of the bakery Masterpiece Cakeshop. They were surprised to receive his response: “Sorry, guys, I don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.” That response didn’t sit well with the couple. As a result, they filed a discrimination case against Philips.

You see, Colorado has anti-discrimination laws to protect the LGBTQ community. But Philips says that the act of making a cake for the wedding of a same-sex couple violates his Christian faith. When the case was heard in lower courts, the baker’s arguments did not hold up—the courts ruled in favor of the gay couple. Philips, however, continued to appeal these verdicts all the way up to the United States Supreme Court.

By Daderot – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4323604

On one side, baker Phillips says he usually has no problem serving cakes to anyone, but he argues that a wedding cake is a different matter because his religion does not allow the marriage of two men. On the other side, the couple believes that they were turned away for who they are, and therefore Phillips is discriminating and breaking the law. The case will be reviewed by the US Supreme Court later this year.

What do you think? Is the baker discriminating against the couple?