Azucar Bakery, which sells custom-made cakes and other confections for special occasions as well as traditional Peruvian treats from owner Marjorie Silva's homeland, recently received a notice from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) stating that a religious discrimination complaint had been filed against the bakery.
The complaint stems from an incident that occurred last spring, when a man came into the shop and requested a bible-shaped cake with anti-gay messages written in frosting. On January 14, Out Front magazine reported that the yet-to-be-identified man came into to bakery three separate times in one day, and eventually was asked to leave by Silva and her brother, whom she called in out of concern for her own safety. According to Out Front and a reply Silva sent to DORA, she never refused service, instead offering a blank, bible-shaped cake and the equipment needed to pipe his own messages onto the cake.
DORA requires a written response from a business when it receives an official complaint and states that it will make a decision within thirty days of receipt of that response.
According to Silva, she has many Christian customers and has designed religious-themed cakes as well as cakes for same-sex wedding and anniversary celebrations.
While Azucar Bakery is awaiting a decision from DORA, it's receiving attention both locally and internationally, with news reports and blog posts keeping the story going. The bakery has responded on its Facebook page with a simple "Thanks" accompanied by a photo of Silva holding a cake decorated with the words "Stop the hate!! Don't discriminate" -- written in pink frosting on a white background.
Bakeries are one of the new battlegrounds for equal rights in Denver. Last year, Masterpiece Cakeshop found itself on the wrong side of history when the Colorado Civil Rights Commission upheld a finding that the bakery violated Colorado's anti-discrimination laws by refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
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