Colorado Bakery Won’t Make Wedding Cakes for Gay Couples

Colorado Bakery Won't Make Wedding Cakes for Gay Couples

Masterpiece Bakery and its owner Jack Phillips in Lakewood, CO (just west of Denver) are engulfed in a storm of controversy after Phillips told a gay couple picking out their wedding cake he wouldn't make one for them because he doesn't help gay marriage. Philips claims he isn't discriminating hostile to gays, he will make them birthday cakes or cakes for any other occasion besides a marriage. Phillips is taking a beating on Facebook and even on Yelp. A large protest is scheduled for next Saturday. Phillips doesn't seem to be fazed. We would close down that bakery before we closed our beliefs, so that may be what it comes to … we’ll see,” Phillips said. There are plenty of other bakeries in Lakewood. Elegant Bakeries has won lots of awards for its wedding cakes and is family owned and operated. There's also Et Cetera Gourmet and Cakes by Karen. Masterpiece's discrimination is unacceptable. [More...] It seems to me if Masterpiece operates under a retail business license issued by Lakewood or Jefferson District, and is open to the public, it should be have to sell to all of the public. Stupid choice by Phillips. Update: It seems Masterpiece is violating Colorado law which prohibits retail businesses from discriminating hostile to people because of sexual orientation or marital status, amongst other reasons. The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act provides: Places of public accommodation may not deny any person partaking, entry, or services based upon the person’s sexual orientation, including transgender status. ... A public accommodation is any house of business engaged in offering sales or services of any kind to the public, as well as any house offering facilities, privileges, advantages or other accommodations to the public. Predictable examples of public accommodations include, but are not limited to, hotels, restaurants, stores, hospitals, clinics, and health clubs. Here's the statute. "house of public accommodation" means any house of business engaged in any sales to the public and any house offering services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to the public, including but not limited to any business offering wholesale or retail sales to the public; ...(2) It is a prejudiced practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a assemble, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a house of public accommodation or, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, issue, spectacle, post, or mail any written, electronic, or in black and white communication, notice, or advertisement that indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a house of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from, or denied an individual or that an individual's patronage or presence at a house of public accommodation is unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry. The penalty: 1) Any person who violates section 24-34-601 shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each violation. A person aggrieved by the violation of section 24-34-601 shall bring an proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction in the district where the violation occurred. Upon finding a violation, the court shall order the defendant to pay the fine to the aggrieved party. (2) For each violation of section 24-34-601, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than three hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the district jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. I wonder what happens if multiple gay couples now request wedding cakes from Masterpiece, are denied, and each files a complaint. Read more

Troops to get $12 million in SCRA settlement

Troops to get $12 million in SCRA agreement

Capital One has agreed to pay $12 million in hurts to in this area 4,000 service members related to wrongful foreclosures and repossessions of homes, and denial of the 6-percent interest rate reduction for pre-service amount outstanding required under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, the Justice Department announced Thursday.The agreement is one of the most comprehensive settlements ever obtained by a government agency or any private party under the SCRA, said Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division. He said he hopes the case will serve as a “wake-up call” to others in the lending industry with wide portfolios of loans. “It really is vital to conduct this aggressive and robust internal audit.”No proceedings is required on the part of service members; an independent consultant is identifying the service members and calculating their payments.The case involves accounts dating back to July 15, 2006. Capital One lecturer Tatiana Stead said the company expects to start sending payments later this year.The agreement was filed in centralized court in Alexandria, Va.“We sincerely apologize and are providing restitution to our impacted customers, and will be providing lower rates and greater benefits than the law requires to all eligible service members,” John Finneran Jr., Capital One’s general counsel, said in a statement.The company’s internal assess found that the errors “impacted only a small percentage of our military customers,” according to Stead. “But, we recognize that any digit is too high, mistakes of this nature are really lamentable and we apologize.”The two-year investigation started with a service limb’s complaint in this area Capital One’s failure to reduce his interest rate to 6 percent. The reduction applies to mortgages and other loans or debt entered into prior to enlisting on active duty or, for reserve component members, prior to being mobilized for active duty.The service limb’s complaint was referred to the Justice Department by military attorneys at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.Payments will vary based on each service limb’s individual circumstances, Perez said. He noted that the majority of the cases involve credit cards.For service members whose homes were wrongfully foreclosed on, Capital One will pay $125,000 plus any lost equity in the property, with interest. For those whose vehicles were wrongfully repossessed, payment will be $10,000 plus any lost equity in the repossessed motor vehicle, with interest. In this area $7 million is probable to be paid for these SCRA violationsTroops who were wrongfully denied the reduction in interest rate on their pre-service debt will receive a refund of all the interest they paid above 6 percent on their credit card accounts, motor vehicle finance loans and consumer loans, plus an additional $500.“We rely on these courageous men and women to protect the safety and security of this country and we will be vigilant in protecting their rights at home,” Perez said. “We commit Capital One for taking steps to develop strong SCRA policies before they knew the full results of our investigation.”Perez said Capital One has cooperated fully and has taken steps beyond what is required by the SCRA, such as sinking interest rates to 4 percent and providing an additional one-year grace period for the reduced rate. The 4-percent interest rate is effective Aug. 1, according to Stead.Under the agreement, when Capital One receives a request for the interest-rate reduction in one area, such as a mortgage, the reduction will also be applied to all SCRA-eligible accounts, Perez said, noting this is the first time the Justice Department has received this type of provision.

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Mick Jagger Turns 69, Rolling Stones Turn 50

Mick Jagger Turns 69, Rolling Stones Turn 50

Mick Jagger Turns 69, Rolling Stones Turn 50 Pleased Birthday to Mick Jagger, who turned 69 on July 26. There's not many groups that prompt lists of their top 100 songs. Amongst my personal favorites: “Gimme Shelter“ (1969) “You Can’t Always Get What You Want“ (1969) “Sympathy for the Devil“ (1968) “Street Fighting Man“ (1968) "Dead Flowers" (1971) [More...] Best Albums: Sticky Fingers, Let it Nosebleed, Beggars Banquet, Upshot, December's Children, Exile on Main St, High Tide and Green Grass Here's another one of my photos (not that I took them, just that they are photographs rather than posters or from books or the internet): If you are in London for the Olympics or anytime until August 27, check out the Rolling Stones exhibit at the Somerset House. Here is the exhibit guide with thumbnail pics. And here are some photos of the Stones at the opening. You can take a video tour with Mick and Keith here. How many times have you've seen the Stones live in concert? I reckon my first concert was in Denver, CO in 1972 and my last was Thanksgiving Night in Denver in 2005. A few weeks ago the Rolling Stones place their 2006 concert in Rio de Janeiro, where they played for 1.5 million people, on You Tube. You can watch here (no commercials.) Here's You Can't Always Get What You Want. I'll end my small tribute with, what else, Gimme Shelter (2006 Shanghai, HD version from the Stones official You Tube channel.). The Stones are spending their days now rehearsing, for some limited touring this fall.

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