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Baker who refused to make cake for gay wedding: 'I don't discriminate'

Jack Phillips maintained he would 'serve everybody that comes in my shop,' but that he wouldn't 'create cakes for every message.'
by Adam Edelman /
Image: Baker Jack Phillips
Baker Jack Phillips in his Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado U.S. on Sept. 21, 2017.Rick Wilking / Reuters file

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The baker at the center of a Supreme Court ruling that he cannot be forced to make a cake for a same-sex wedding told “Today” on Tuesday that he doesn’t “discriminate” against anybody and that he simply doesn't want to bake cakes “for every message” — saying that he would also refuse to create a dessert that insulted the LGBTQ community.

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake in Denver, had argued that his cakes are works of art and that requiring him to bake them for same-sex weddings would force him to express a view that violated his religious beliefs. And in a narrow 7-2 decision, the high court said legal proceedings in Colorado had shown a hostility to the baker's religious views.

Phillips, however, maintained during an interview with “Today,” that he would “serve everybody.”

“It's just that I don't create cakes for every occasion they ask me to create,” he said.

“I don't discriminate against anybody — I serve everybody that comes in my shop,” Phillips said. “I don't create cakes for every message that people ask me to create.

“This cake is a specific cake, a wedding cake is an inherently religious event and the cake is definitely a specific message,” Phillips said, explaining his objection to making the wedding cake for the same-sex wedding.

But Phillips said there were several other messages he would never agree to put on any of his cakes — including anything that would disparage a member of the LGBTQ community.

'I don't create cakes for Halloween, I wouldn't create a cake that would be anti-American or disparaging against anybody for any reason, even cakes that would disparage people who identify as LGBT,” he said. "Cakes have a message and this is one I can't create."

The narrow Supreme Court ruling ruling in Phillips’ case applied to the specific facts of his case only and gave little hint as to how the court might decide future cases involving florists, bakers, photographers and other business owners who have cited religious and free-speech objections when refusing to serve gay and lesbian customers in the wake of the Supreme Court's 2015 same-sex marriage decision.

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