When David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in July 2012, with Charlie’s mother, to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception, they had no idea that they were about to begin a grueling six-year ordeal to defend LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections in Colorado. But before ever discussing what the cake would look like, the bakery said it would not sell them a wedding cake because it did not sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples. Longstanding Colorado state law prohibits public accommodations such as businesses to refuse service based on characteristics like race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Ultimately Dave and Charlie’s case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices reversed a swath of rulings in their favor on the narrow grounds that the Civil Rights Commission erred in its handling of the case. The ruling also underlined the importance of protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. “Initially, we really wanted to stand up for ourselves,” Charlie said about filing the case. “But throughout this journey, I feel like we really want to recognize these other people who have been discriminated against. We want to ensure that people don’t have to go through the same humiliation and helplessness that we had to go through. That’s why we’re here.”