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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Anonymous

A couple of things:

1. There were 83 bakeries (as i counted them) closer to your son's address on E Girard Pl and was Masterpiece. If he and Mr. Mullins were not terageting Masterpiece to instigate a conflict, why the trek there instead of a closer place - and why not just walk across the street when the baker explained his position on gay marriage? According to you the baker would have been happy to make a cake for any other event. Why the need to combat?

2. Matthew Shepard was not tortured and killed because he was gay. That's all fiction. His meth amphetamine dealers killed him over an unpaid drug debt.

3. My "partner" also went through chemotherapy - not fun. But why the need to go back a decade and bring YOUR cancer up?

Anonymous

Death the alll Christians!!!!!!

Anonymous

The Masterpiece Cake Shop may not make cakes for same-sex weddings, but they will make a cake for your dog's wedding.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/05/masterpiece-cakeshop-gay-dog-experiment-_n_3392013.html

This store owner's judgemental refusal makes me sick. I hope the state of Colorado sues him; the state of Washington sued Arlene's Flower shop for refusing to provide flowers to a gay wedding:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2013/04/09/ag-sues-florist-who-refused-flowers-to-gay-wedding/

Anonymous

I read another article about this and I believe that since the baker did not take the money and did not do anything to harm them that Craig and Mullins could have just taken there business to another baker.

from Richard, V...

Maybe everyone who has a problem with gay people and their issues should just work in show business their whole adult lives. Outside of certain people, most people in show business have no problem with gay people. If they did, they would be constantly distressed bc there's no shortage of gay people in the entertainment industry.

Anonymous

I find the ACLU statement in their Web title, "Because freedom can't protect itself" quite interesting. What happened to protecting all peoples constitutional rights. How did the word tolerance go from application to all to just one group. When did the word tolerance mean the protection of just one groups view point. Tolerance just itself to the idea that one can't hold on to their personal belief and convictions without people respecting them. Whatever happened to the since of fair play in the market place. Yes I agree that it would be disappointing to be turned down by a business for something you desire but doesn't a since of fair play allows for respect and allows for the over riding factor that Freedom of thought, conviction and speech is important for both the consumer and seller and removing those freedoms for will ultimately jeopardize yours. For instance I find it almost hilarious that a group of people who don't believe in God spend so much effort attempting to remove every public vestige of a God they don't believe in and thereby attempting to subject others who believe otherwise to their non-belief. As one person once voiced be careful when you attempt to remove a groups freedoms over your own because yours when you do then your own freedoms will be in jeopardy. When I loose my freedom to believe what a believe and have to be indoctrinated to someone else belief system will the ACLU DEFEND ME. I may not agree with you but I will agree (freedom) that it is your right to disagree. I think it a universal fact no one like to be offended but I believe forgiveness not retribution is the answer. In this nation YOU should still have the right to disagree without persecution!

Anonymous

Hope his business goes through the roof. Grow up and take your business where it is wanted.

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