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Legislature Confirms That Restaurants Cannot Deny Gay Customers Service

Two bills that would have made discrimination against gay customers easier were killed in the State Legislature this week.

Cake at Azucar Bakery
Cake at Azucar Bakery
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Religious beliefs are not an acceptable reason deny service to anyone, the Colorado Legislature decided. Two bills that emerged as a result of a bakery refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple were killed in the Legislature earlier this week.

House Bill 15-1171, also known as the "Freedom of Conscience Protection Act," would have allowed for "deeply-held personal beliefs" to be an affirmative defense for businesses accused of discrimination when it comes to refusing service to certain customers. House Bill 15-1161 would have prohibited the state from compelling a person to "involuntarily" engage in speech, artistic expression, or religious expression they wouldn't ordinarily engage in.

Last year, local Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to sell a rainbow cake to a gay couple. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission affirmed an administrative law judge's ruling that owner Jack Phillips discriminated against them. At the other end of the spectrum, earlier this year, Azucar Bakery refused to sell a man a bible-shaped cake with "God hates homosexuality" written on it. The bakery may face legal action and has sought support from the local community. It isn't clear that the bills would have applied to this second scenario.

Azucar Bakery

1886 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210 (720) 283-3294 Visit Website

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