NEW YORK (BP) -- The owner of a Colorado bakery said in spite of picket lines and online petitions he will not change a store policy against baking wedding cakes for homosexual couples -- a policy that critics call hateful and bigoted.
More than 5,300 people have signed an online petition calling on the Masterpiece Cake Shop to ends its policy banning gay wedding cakes. Several dozen people picketed the privately owned store in Lakewood, Colo.
"Everyone has the same rights," one protestor told television station KDVR. "A gay wedding cake, a straight wedding cake -- it's the same thing."
Jack Phillips, the owner of the cake shop, said his ban on making cakes for gay weddings is a result of his religious beliefs.
"I'm not going to change my business because of a petition," he told the Denver Post. "I'm just going to do the best I can do to honor Jesus Christ."
In fact, he told KDVR that business is booming.
" we had about twice as much business as normal," Phillips said. "There are people coming in to support us"
He said he would shut down his business before he makes a cake for a gay wedding.
Phillips found himself in the middle of the controversy several weeks ago when David Mullins and Charlie Craig asked the bakery to make a rainbow cake for their wedding reception. Gay marriage is not legal in Colorado, nor are civil unions.
"He quickly informed us that his business did not provide cakes for gay weddings," Craig said in a statement. "This moment was offensive, dehumanizing, awkward and quite painful."
Mullins told the Denver Westword he told Phillips, " you and your homophobic cake shop." The couple then posted the encounter on Facebook which spread across the nation.
"This was the first time that either of us had ever been turned away from a business because of our sexuality," Craig said. "The venality of a cake shop denying a loving couple a wedding cake is symbolic of the small thinking that permeates American society."
Phillips told local media that a number of people have either called or dropped by to show their support for his stance.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard daily on Fox News Radio stations around the nation. He is the author of "Dispatches From Bitter America" and "They Popped My Hood and Found Gravy on the Dipstick." This article first appeared at www.toddstarnes.com. Used by permission.
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