QUEER VOICES
01/21/2015 12:49 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Denver's Azucar Bakery Under Investigation For Allegedly Refusing To Bake Anti-Gay Cake

The owner of a Colorado-based bakery is facing a religious discrimination complaint after she refused to bake a cake decorated with anti-gay images and phrases.

Marjorie Silva, who owns Denver's Azucar Bakery, tells USA Today she was approached in March 2014 by a customer named Bill Jack, who requested several Bible-shaped cakes with phrases like "God hates gays" written in icing. In addition, Jack wanted an image of two men holding hands with an "X" on top of at least one of the cakes, according to the report.

"We never refuse service," Silva told My Fox Houston. "We did feel that it was not right for us to write hateful words or pictures against human beings."

Although Silva says she offered to bake the cake and sell extra frosting to Jack so that he could write whatever he wanted, that apparently wasn't enough. The customer responded by filing a complaint with the Civil Rights division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), saying he was being discriminated against because of his religious beliefs.

In a statement released to Denver's KUSA-TV, NBC9, Jack said, "I believe I was discriminated against by the bakery based on my creed. As a result, I filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights division."

Jack, who is identified by the news station as a founder of the "non-denominational" Christian organization Worldview Academy, then added, "Out of respect for the process, I will wait for the director to release his findings before making further comments."

Silva responded to her supporters with an image on her bakery's official Facebook page:

"It's unfair that he's accusing me of discriminating when I think he was the one that is discriminating," she also told KUSA-TV, NBC9.

With more U.S. states implementing same-sex marriage legislation, bakeries have become an unlikely battleground for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in recent months. In 2014, the owner of Colorado's Masterpiece Cakeshop vowed to stop preparing wedding cakes entirely after a local court ruled he'd discriminated against a pair of gay grooms-to-be when he refused to sell them a cake.

"I do what I do because I love doing what I do and I believe it's what God's designed for me to do," Jack Phillips told Fox News' Elisabeth Hasselbeck via Raw Story in 2013. "I don't feel that I should participate in their wedding, and when I do a cake, I feel like I'm participating in the ceremony or the event or the celebration that the cake is for."

In September 2014, baker Melissa Klein broke down in tears at the Values Voter Summit over the closing of the Oregon bakery she and her husband, Aaron, owned and operated. The couple, who owned Sweet Cakes by Melissa, had faced national backlash over their refusal to bake a lesbian couple's wedding cake, and is now reportedly facing a $150,000 fine from the state of Oregon over the 2013 incident.

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