Today I celebrate the decision from Colorado administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer who found that my son and his now-husband could not be discriminated against by a bakery.

I have an incredible son named Charlie Craig, the oldest of my three sons who now lives in the Denver area. I have, like any other parent, encouraged him to be himself, to find his strengths in life and to have an open mind, and to always deal fairly with others. In high school Charlie was always helping out friends in trouble, I used to tell him that he had a “social worker’s heart.” 

When Charlie “came out of the closet” he was living in Iowa, and he said over the phone that he needed to tell me something very important. He told me he thought he was gay, and that it might be just a phase, but that he was attracted to men, and had been for a while. I listened and cried silently as he opened up to me. I could tell from his voice, he was nervous. I told him I loved him more than all the sands on a beach times two. It was something I would say when he was young and struggling through normal times as a teenager.

In 2004, I was told that I had Stage 2 breast cancer. I had my first chemo treatment the day after Christmas and Charlie was there holding my hand as they started the infusion of chemicals into my IV. He had moved back to Wyoming to help me through this time and to help care for his younger brothers while I fought the cancer. In the spring of 2005 he enrolled at the University of Wyoming in Laramie to finish his degree in Sociology. He came home to help take care of me, and was moving to the town where a young man was tortured and killed for his sexual orientation in 1998. He assured me that things have changed and that there was a supportive gay community there and not to worry. He was right and he went on to graduate. His brothers and I sat proudly during the commencement ceremony.

Charlie was living in Denver when he met and fell in love with David Mullins. They became engaged and started planning their wedding, which would be held in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and a delayed hometown reception in Colorado.

In July of 2012 my son and his fiancé invited me to join them at a bakery for a cake tasting and to discuss a design that was recommended by their event planner. What should have been a fun and special moment turned into a day I will never forget. The three of us walked into Masterpiece Cakeshop, and a man at the counter motioned for us to sit at a small table and then joined us. When the man asked whose wedding this was for, and my son said “it is for our wedding,” the man said that he does not make cakes for same- sex couples’ weddings or commitment ceremonies. When my son said “really?” the man tried to justify his stance by saying he will make birthday cakes or other occasion cakes for gays, just not a wedding cake.

I just sat there in disbelief. All of the levity that we felt on the drive to the bakery was gone.  As I left that bakery, my heart was breaking for my son and his fiancé. What should have been a joyous occasion had turned into a humiliating occasion.

We did go on, and I witnessed the marriage of my son to his true love. At Charlie and David’s reception, I met the most amazing woman, Lora, of Lora’s Donuts and Bakery Shop who ultimately supplied their cake. She told me when she read about what happened at Masterpiece Cakeshop she wanted to reach out and help address the hurt, and she did. I can honestly say the cake was a true masterpiece and was a beautiful complement to the celebration of David and Charlie’s love.

The decision that Judge Spencer made has renewed my hope that no other couple in Colorado will face discrimination by a business owner based on their sexual orientation. It was never about the cake. It was about my son being treated like a lesser person.

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Kat1985

SO happy the judge did this! Those people should lose their business license.

Anonymous

What a great mom and supportive family.

Anonymous

So, our first amendment rights should be subordinated to peoples' hurt feelings?

JIMMY PALMIERI

This story is such a sad one, but with a happy ending. Feeling less than, is one of the worst feelings that society puts on the GLBT community. I am so happy that the judge saw the law clearly for what it is. THE RESULT IS NOT AND END TO RELIGION, IT IS A BEGINNING OF THE END OF DISCRIMINATION. Let;s not mix the two up.
I am so proud to see this couple fight this and to see the mom right by their side. Equality is always the prettiest cake at the bakery!

Anonymous

The issue with this and the next generation is that they never heard the word "no". No, you cannot have your way, no, it is not always about you. This baker doesn't want to bake you a cake go somewhere else. Tell all your friends that he is not "gay-friendly" and he will either change, will make less money or go out of business. But don't go running to "Mommy" government when you do get your way. Some people do not believe in the gay lifestyle that does not make them evil and it makes the gay rights cause harder to support when you run to the courts when you do not get your way and have an administrative law judge make a ridiculous ruling trying keep from being called a bigot. A person who owns a business has the right not to serve someone for any reason, the market will then decide if he stays in business. My guess is this baker will not.

Anonymous

OF COURSE it was never about the cake. Everybody knows that. It was then, and is now ONLY about finding a Christian business to persecute and destroy to help enforce public acceptance of your son's twisted and perverted lifestyle.

He could have gone to ANY of the dozens of other bakeries in the area to get a cake and had done with it, thus giving free-market business to a sodomy friendly bakery. Instead he chose to pursue a legal case to suppress the freedom of association of a baker so that his lifestyle CHOICE could be forced upon those who find it sinful and deeply offensive. You are a weak and sad person for supporting him in this evil.

Anonymous

then go to a bake shop that caters to gay weddings. if you dont believe in smoking for instance, you are TOTALLY against it, and a cigarette company comes to you and insists that you create an ad to sell their cigarettes, buy you don't want to because you think that cigarettes are bad. A judge orders you to do it against your moral conscience .... what would you do?

this is no different. if someone has a moral stance against same sex marriage, then that is fine for them. Why should YOU tell them differently. Why cant YOU go to a cake shop that caters to gays? why force someone to do business against their beliefs?

Anonymous

It was never about your son. It's about freedom of thought and to live by the dictates of one's conscience against the swaying of public opinion. It's about tolerance of another person's right to their own set of values and the practice thereof.

There are historic religious teachings dating some 1400 years before Christ that people throughout the ages have held dear. They declare the creator of marriage to be God. In view of this, some do not wish to participate in the alteration of something they believe is already perfectly fashioned and feel that to do so would be a great sign of disrespect to one who crafted it.

They are not standing in the way of the state to condone such affairs, for that is a legal matter between the individuals and the state. They do however, have a conscientious objection to do so in their own life.

Just as you claim people should be free to marry whom they choose, others should also be free to their own beliefs, even when they don't agree with yours. Why would you, the courts and society as a whole, want to force someone to violate their own conscience? Is this not the very definition of intolerance?

Your son could freely have chosen to take his money to support a different bakery. And frankly, why would he not want to at that point? The bakery owner's freedom to pursue the happiness that comes from living a life consistent with one's convictions has been revoked to soothe your hurt feelings and egos. They are left with only the decision to conform to you or close their doors. Someone's rights were definitely violated that day; the private business owner's.

Anonymous

Why do all people have to condone something that seems so vulgar to most? We aren't here to make everyone "feel" important. If you can't get a cake one place, go somewhere else.

Anonymous

Good to see "Judge not, lest ye be judged" is still being completely ignored in the comments section all across the Internet, and that homophobes will always find a way to rationalize their bigotry, even if it means attacking a devoted mother and two people who love each other in defence of somebody who was stupid enough to let his own intolerance get in the way of running a proper business.

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