Baker refuses to make “gay” cake. Jail for the baker?

Biretta tip to Pewsitter for this.

As I have been saying, we are going to see a lot more of this.

Colorado Baker Faces Year in Jail for Refusing to Make Cake for Gay Wedding

According to attorney Nicolle Martin, the owners of a Colorado bakery could face a year in prison for refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding, Jim Hoft reported at the Gateway Pundit Monday.

“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,” Martin told Hoft.

…The Advocate said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is set to hear the case in September.

Yes, folks.  Coming to a parish near you.

One of these days a Catholic parish will get targeted for something along these lines.   A “couple” will want to rent a hall, or use the church, or… something.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Our Catholic Identity, Religious Liberty, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. APX says:

    This is unfortunate. Not to mention the epitome stupid. I strongly recommend moving to Canada. Nobody goes to jail here. I anticipate this as I prepare to (re)start my career. I suspect I will get fired for teaching Catholicism in a Catholic school. Fortunately I have a very diverse post-secondary education.

  2. Legisperitus says:

    I have never believed in “hate crime” legislation. The moment you make motive an element of a crime is the moment you start criminalizing thought.

  3. acardnal says:


    And meanwhile the Catholic Health Assoc. accepts recent HHS rule. Cardinal Dolan disagrees. God help us.

    Accommodate to Obama’s anti-life agenda or go to court.

  4. Jean Marie says:

    Fr Z. – Something similar to this happened at a local parish. A gay couple, two women, showed up at this church and asked that their twin babies (conceived through in-vitro) be baptized. The Deacon who arranges Baptisms was given permission by the Pastor and set it up. One of the lay people who was scheduled to assist at the Baptism, when informed of the situation, refused to take part. Instead, they got another assistant, kept the circumstances of the baptism quite, and proceeded. Now I know that the babies should not be punished for the sins of their parents, but this opened a dangerous door. I’m waiting for them to return someday and ask that the church marry them. And why not? They already performed one sacrament, why not the sacrament of Matrimony?

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    APX, how nice of you to invite all of us to Canada! Have you got a big house? I’m ready.
    Legisperitus, 100% agree with you.
    Anyone willing to read a bit on this from someone who has fighting this battle for 25 years may like to look up a protestant minister from Massachusetts, Pastor Scott Lively. His Defend the Family ministry has been a front-line ministry and he is an international speaker whom I have mentioned here before. He’s amazingly fearless.
    He just sent out an email on the SCOTUS ruling. (I believe Pastor Scott may be a lawyer as well.) His opinion is that the ruling was neither constitutional nor based on precedent at all, not even a slight nod toward either. Sheer activism on the part of SCOTUS. We suspected that.
    His breadth of experience and knowledge on this topic is impressive. His conclusions about the spiritual and worldly battles that are pending feel right on the money. His 25 years experience and understanding of how the homosexual movement has done exactly what it stated all along leads him to conclude that the homosexual movement and Islam are two “horns on the same head” and that the church in America is next in the line of fire, almost “last”. The other institutions have fallen, the American Psychiatric Association (1973), and other secular groups, as we have seen, the military, Boy Scouts, are just the latest. This was all by design, and all that is left are the church, then we, the remnant. He says, and I agree, that many people will simply not be able to withstand what is coming, and will cave in on the issue of homosexuality as it is going to get ugly and ask all of us to capitulate and then support it, and we will all have to choose. Sounds reasonable. It will be easier to give in, as so many have already done. But we are not to be confused, and need to stay strong in our belief that God never intended homosexuality to be seen as right and good, and that we cannot accept it as such. God will have the last word, we know.
    Yet, scary times, I admit. We are in strange territory.

  6. McCall1981 says:

    So, since gay “marriage” has happened in other places before here in America, like Europe etc, my question is how have Catholics in these other places dealt with these kinds of situations? What have they done, and what can we learn from them?

  7. Deirdre Mundy says:

    Many European countries don;t recognize religious marriage. So couples have a church wedding and then go and get civilly married by the magistrate. We could do that in the US– stop combining the two, and make only civil marriage count…

  8. monmir says:

    I believe in critical thinking and logic. Does a baker cares about who eats his cake? If I were a baker, I would offer cake models to choose from, with possible decoration options, writing on the cake only if the message does not offend me, if not I would provide material for the buyer to produce its own.
    There are big battles coming up, let’s apply energy where it will be needed.
    To push this further should we refuse to bake/sell cakes to fat people who place their lives in danger by eating cakes?
    Let’s not allow ourselves to be spinned by the evil one.
    From the homily of last Sunday at our church: we must bear fruits, but good fruits not just any fruits. How de we recognize good fruits? They bear the signs of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
    This was this priest last sermon to us, as he is sent to Mexico, please remember him in your prayers.

  9. OrthodoxChick says:

    Wait. So it is unconstitutional for congress to pass a law that prohibits the free exercise of one’s religion, but if a state does it, that’s A-OK?

    We have a civil right to force someone to bake us a cake? Cool. If anyone knows of a good atheist baker, let’s send him lots of business from the Jewish and Christian communities and force him to bake cakes with crosses and stars of David. I’m sure he won’t mind a bit.

    The complainants can sue the baker civilly? What damages will they be seeking? Three layers and a pound of buttercream?

    I’m not making light of this poor baker’s situation, but I find the complaint to be worthy of mocking.

  10. majuscule says:

    I am going to bring this up at out parish council meeting this week. We have a hall (not our church hall exactly) that we rent out to generate income for the parish. This is California where so called “marriages” between people of the same sex may or may not be legal.

    Best be prepared.


    [Laudatrix temporis acti!]

  12. James Joseph says:

    What is this thing you speak of ‘Wedding’ ?

    Is that not that vomitorium sort of thing where you eat and drink, binging and smoking until one can stand-no-longer?

  13. NBW says:

    Anyone ever see “The Help”? What if the baker had made them a special chocolate pie ;)

  14. PostCatholic says:

    When I was an undergraduate, there was a liquor store owner not so far from campus who would not discriminate on the basis of race,sex, religion, creed, national origin, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, sexual orientation, or genetic information. He only discriminated on the basis of color: you had to have some green. I always thought that was a mighty American policy of his.

  15. acardnal says:

    Christians cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to sin…..especially mortal sin. We are answerable to God upon our death.

  16. AttiaDS says:

    “Sad to say your dream is not
    The kind of dream I’d like to get
    Pharaoh has it in for you,
    Your execution date is set
    Don’t rely on all I said I saw
    It’s just that I have not been wrong before “

  17. nykash says:

    One would hope that the DA would tell the complainant to take a hike, but the world is going mad.
    The ‘pro-choice’ protestors in Texas hailing the Evil One is but one chilling example. How far will this go?

  18. Ben Kenobi says:

    Father Z:

    Here’s a couple pertinant cases:
    (Kempling vs the BC College of Teachers)

    You can also look here for more cases.

    It is happening and it is coming. There is a very real ‘agenda’ and deliberate use of the courts to persecute anyone who is an open Christian who rejects homosexuality.

  19. Ben Kenobi says:

    “I believe in critical thinking and logic. Does a baker cares about who eats his cake? If I were a baker, I would offer cake models to choose from, with possible decoration options, writing on the cake only if the message does not offend me, if not I would provide material for the buyer to produce its own.”

    The point isn’t the cake. The point is subserviance to sin. If it were about the cake, they would not have gone to the Christian baker.

  20. Eric says:

    I think, if I were the baker, the cake would read, “Have a Great Day (cause eternity is really gunna suck)”

    That will be $4000. Thank you for your patronage.

  21. This is no different than 1930’s Germany where swastikas were painted on the business doors of jews. Citizens, who vastly support traditional marriage vote after vote in state after state are going to be harassed by those preaching “tolerance.”

    I would put a Crucifix at my business entrance, and the disclaimer, “if you are here to rub my nose in the dung by requesting a gay wedding cake, some of those ingredients may fall off my nose and right into your dessert . . . bon appetit!”

  22. Gratias says:

    Of course, the next frontier for homosexuals/pederasts is to sue our parishes on the basis of egalitarianism. These Communist agitators never rest. We will have to fight them at every turn, even though the US constitution protects equality.

  23. Pnkn says:

    I think that this one of those situations where the rubber hits the road.

    Since we are talking about a >public< organization (the baker), he/she is subject to civil laws, and those include civil rights laws. I don't see the question as posed is a matter of conscience. The matter of conscience decision was whether or not to operate privately or publicly, given one's religious views.

    The question of "civil marriages/unions" it seems to me is not so much about redefining marriage as it is about being precise in using terms. Many heterosexual "marriages" are really not marriages but civil unions.
    So the question arises is there a civil right to have a civil union, and what is that right dependent upon/independent of ? race ? creed? gender? sexual preference ? Of those four qualities, only creed is determined by the individuals themselves, the others are endowed genetically.
    If there is a civil right to order a soda from a public store, then is there also a civil right to order a cake ?

    Churches that rent out space to the general public are – it seems to me – operating as a publicly open organization, and probably need to rethink their business plan if there is any possibility of conflict of interest (real or apparent).

  24. pnkn,

    the civil right to order a soda pop doesn’t compare to ordering a wedding cake. Weddings are planned, coordinated events that commemorate a public witnessing of a man and woman joining together before witnesses in holy matrimony. Soda pops are a dime a dozen, not sold for anything other than to quench a thirst; whereas wedding cakes are a societal tradition that contributes to the public sanctioning of a couple’s matrimonial union. God designed marriage as a sacrament between one man and one woman until natural death. Weddings are designed by man to celebrate God’s holy design. Wedding cakes are specially baked creations, with personalized decorations on top, hand crafted specialty items that must be customized by a baker upon request by a bride and groom in order to celebrate the societal sanction of their union in God’s designed holy matrimony. Soda pops just don’t do symbolize what wedding cakes symbolize.

  25. jc464 says:

    I have been not a little annoyed at the tendency among commenters here to denigrate and dismiss the importance of people being “registered” at a parish. Well, here’s a great reason: in order to use parish facilities one must be a “registered member in good standing.” This means living locally, making regular contributions, and having regular attendance at Mass, at the very least. If we’re really interested in protecting the integrity of our worship and sacraments, there’s going to need to be some manner of regulating and restricting the use of facilities. An open door policy for a parish works just about as well as the open door policy did for our southern border.

  26. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Pnkn,

    You wrote:

    “Since we are talking about a >public< organization (the baker), he/she is subject to civil laws, and those include civil rights laws."

    The flaw in this logic is that any law that enshrines evil is no law. Homosexual couples cannot add new layers and meanings to civil rights law based on an evil practice, since error has no rights. Simply put, one may not do evil (including support evil) that good may come from it. One may tolerate evil, for a time, if one has a reasonable expectation that doing so may lead to conversion. There is no expectation, here. This is simply power posturing of the homosexual couple under color of law.

    If I were facing the judge, I'd ask him if he flunked his legal theory class, because, clearly, he has no concept of the hierarchy of laws (Divine, Natural, Positive). Then, I would tell him that I cannot recognize his authority, since he has already been overruled by a higher court and if he wants to protest, then he may take up the matter with either God or Nature, since neither one is on his side. Then, I would tell him that I'm going home until he gets permission to try the case from the higher court, since he swore, before God, to uphold the law and I'm pretty sure that if he tries the case without permission of a him on whom he swore, he would be guilty of blaspheming. Thus, by sparing him the adjuticative process, I am sparing his soul.

    On the other hand, I would probably stay silent and let the Holy Spirit speak when the time is right.

    In any case, this is simply power, not law and, in my opinion, it is morally permissible to resist it.

    You don't win a war by letting the other side build up superior force of arms. You quash them before they get going. We failed. Now, we die. We are becoming a country of laws made by the Devil. Social liberals gone off the deep end simply cannot be reasoned with. Don't bother. All they understand is power and subterfuge.

    The Chicken

  27. Pnkn says:

    Dear respondants –

    I’d suggest that a wedding cake is a temporal, man made, transient creation – of this world, not of the next. It may well have enormous symbolic value, but a symbol is still just that. It is, in its essence, baked ingredients. It is a totally unnecessary part of wedding feasts (not a part of the ceremony at all). It is not necessary for either a devout life or a sacramental marriage. It is a fun accessory to have if one can afford it.

    I’d also suggest that bad laws are still laws to be followed unless one decides to partake in civil disobedience (which one has a right to do) and willingly accept the consequent penalties.

  28. chantgirl says:

    If a bakery had refused to sell a pre-made cake on the shelf, that would be discriminatory because the product is put out for the public to buy. If a baker declines to take on a special order, that is not discrimination. When did artists become slaves to whatever anyone demanded that they create? Do bakers have to make naughty bachelorette cakes if they are uncomfortable doing so? After all, it’s just a cake. Who cares that it’s in the shape of male genitalia? Do photographers have to take nude photographs just because someone requests it? Can a tattoo artist decline to tattoo a swastika on someone?
    The possibility of jail for this baker is beyond my comprehension.

  29. PA mom says:

    Chant girl-YES!!! This need to be made bigger and illustrated as the intimidation and unnecessary force that it is. And with some of the Liberal ideologies at stake. Does a butcher need to prepare an endangered species? Can an artist be required to take on and complete a faithful style commission on a specifically religious subject? Could atheist photographers be made to attend Church every Sunday to take pictures during Mass? Working against one’s will is what this all boils down to.

  30. Supertradmum says:

    Thank you for posting this, Fr. Z. People have been asleep at the wheel and some still are. We are in stage five of persecution, which is the passing of laws which make a religious stand or religion illegal and which results in fines, imprisonment or death.

    Why are American Catholics so blind to this? Already in Europe, seminarians are discussing how they will have to say no to couples who want to use a Catholic Church. B and B owners have been fined for refusing to have gay couples in their own homes which are B and Bs. The EUToday, the equality for lgtbs in jobs made it out of committee and will be voted on in the Senate and House. This means that no one will be able to refuse a cross-dresser, or transgender a job in any position-schools, Catholic institutions and so on.

    Wake up, America. |We have had a long time to consider these possiblities-since 1973, and few were paying attention. God will allow all to undergo trials, just as He did His Own People. Remember, the First Roman Martyrs were killed for being heretics against the State religion-Now, we have total moral relativism as the State religion which by definition hates Catholicism.

    This is the triumph of kulturkampf, started by Marx, forwarded by Bismarck and seen in practice by Stalin, Mao and Hitler. If anyone thinks America is immune to tyranny, I suggest you look at these links. Naivete is not a virtue, but prudence is.

    And that one is from 2010, folks….

    And, this one refers to precedences set in 1581

    Do Catholics really believe they will be spared great persecution which will force us underground?

  31. Supertradmum says:

    sorry, not EUToday, but WAPO-sorry

  32. Supertradmum says:

    McCall1981, some of my answer is in moderation., but I can say this in addition. No one is escaping this type of persecution in Europe. Teachers in all schools who have Catholic consciences may have to resign this coming year to avoid the horrible lgtb sex ed curriculum already printed up. Marriage registrars who are good Catholics will have to resign. Mayors in France are petitioning for rights of conscience.

    Sorry, there is no safe place and not Canada, contrary to some comments here. Bishop Henry of Calgary was fined 5,000 CD years ago for sending a pastoral letter condemning gay marriage.

    Catholics, please, please wake up and I am sorry to disagree with some here, making a cake for a gay wedding or renting out a room for a gay wedding reception is auxiliary to one of the four sins which cry out to God for vengeance. This type of compromising attitude is what made England Protestant instead of Catholic.

  33. Supertradmum says:

    PS It was Queen Elizabeth of England who created the secret police and spies and the Star Chamber was empowered by her dad with the help of Thomas Cromwell and other lay people-which had no witnesses, no indictments, no public hearings, with the support of a partially democratically elected Parliament-to specifically kill Catholics. Sir Francis Walsingham had 53 spies in foreign courts as well as his domestic spies against Catholics and Huguenots and other small non-Anglican sects. Hey, does this sound familiar?

  34. Supertradmum says:

    McCall1981 British schools in above note re curriculum and British registrars. Sorry for the disorganization from me, but I am ill today.

  35. Supertradmum says:

    For those still dubious, here are some posts of mine from the recent past with lots of photos of ostriches…

  36. RobW says:

    The days of comfy Catholicism are quickly coming to an end. In the long run thats a good thing.

  37. Random Friar says:

    To paraphrase Spock, “If I were a Catholic baker, and the state told me I had to support a gay wedding, I believe my response would be, ‘Go to hell.'”

    It would be more diplomatic with the “couple,” but the same in essence.

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