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US lesbian couple “unsure whether to file complaint” over refused wedding cake

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  1. The cakemaker sounds like a typical christian ie a small town, small-minded, vindictive spiteful bigot.

    But on what planet, can this story be considered news?

    However I’m sure the christian bigot would LOVE if they filed a civil rights complaint, as it will give her more airtime for her quentessentially christian bigotry.

    Oh a request – do not feed internet trolls (some may claim that I am a troll but I’m not talking about me, here).

    1. Kerry Hollowell 23 Nov 2011, 10:55am

      There was a similar story over a lesbian couple being refused a wedding dress. Once the story got out the wedding dress business got flooded with bad reviews and lost thousands of $ of business and have suffered.
      Maybe this is the way to deal with businesses that discriminate against us using religion as a reason.

      1. Yes, please post bad reviews but only if you’ve been a customer of the business and been dissatisfied. The Chymorvah House Hotel has several reviews on Trip Advisor, both good and bad, and it is fairly obvious which ones are made up. For example, if someone is in the US and has only posted one review but it is gushing with praise about the hotel, which the reviewer visits every year, you could begin to smell a rat. If you ignore the reviews from people who have only ever posted one review (that one) and are mainly pro-, then there is more accurate picture and, as it happens, a rather unfavourable one from the proprietor’s point of view.

    2. I do hope people will not feed the trolls …

  2. Christians love this kind of thing, they see it as a form of persecution which they think will bring them closer to their God.

    But, this thing doesn’t surprise me anymore =(

    1. What, so they can walk into the gates of Sky Lurkers Palace with a smug grin on their face, knowing that they did good by putting down LGBT people?

      These folk that use religion as an excuse for everything, are just brainwashed zombies. They follow that stuff because they think its good and anything else is wrong.

  3. File a complaint and it will generate more press. People need to see the blatant discrimination happening every day so we can bring an end to it.

    1. DJ Sheepiesheep 23 Nov 2011, 7:01pm

      Better still, find out if they have a website or email address and let’s all let them know what we think, directly.

  4. I don’t agree with what she did but least she was pleasant about it, it appears that no one was offended.
    I’m not sure how this was made news, I’ve heard worse on a daily basis like the racism of G-A-Y nightclub etc

    It’s just a cake, where in the bible does it say thou shall not haveth the cake? Would it be different if it were a birthday cake or if they called it lesbian cake?

    1. Nikki Lindley 23 Nov 2011, 11:40am

      At least she was pleasant about it? Is that supposed to be some kind of consolation prize that couple should be grateful for, just because they are in a same sex relationship? Discrimination is discrimination, whether it is overt, or hidden behind pleasantries and humour. And its not about a ‘cake’ next time it could be a supermarket, their local public transport – the slippery slope effect.

    2. Nothing makes hateful bigotry go down quite so smoothly as politeness.

      1. Cake might have helped. But then that bigoted fool couldn’t even manage that!

  5. Imagine if they were refused a cake for being black.

  6. On a prima facie reading, it does seem as if the baker broke the Iowa civil code – this concept of “its my business and I can do what I want” is an error that opens the door to lawsuits. Yes, you can put up a “no shirts, no shoes, no service” sign, because those people are not a protected class. But you cannot put up a “no blacks, no Jews, no gays” sign in Iowa as they ARE protected classes. The most gratifying thing for me in this story was that every time I read a story about it, yet ANOTHER Iowa baker was standing up and saying “we would love to do their cake.” Personally, I hope the miserable old bigoted sow goes out of business.

  7. Nikki Lindley 23 Nov 2011, 11:33am

    If you are providing a service in the UK legislation rules that you are not allowed to discriminate on many levels, one of which is sexual orientation. That lady could be in trouble here in the UK as despite what she says…it IS discrimination and should be treated as such by the appropriate people.

  8. Some people struggle to understand that discrimination does not depend on will. If something is discriminatory against someone it will remain that way no matter what you say.

    On the matter of the right of business owners to refuse service: http://www.legalzoom.com/us-law/equal-rights/right-refuse-service

    This would seem the case of an unlawful refusal, at least up to California laws; it depends on the laws in Iowa if the woman who denied service access to the couple did so legitimately or not.

    If I were the couple I’d try and file the complaint anyway.

    My personal opinion however is that such an arbitrary refusal shouldn’t be legal anywhere.

  9. I say lat them get a bit of bad press and leave it be. Focus the time, money, and energy leading up to your special day on people who love you and support your decision. Getting too ruffled over bigots being bigots is still kinda letting them win.

  10. Keith Farrell 23 Nov 2011, 11:47am

    You know, this is really sad, sad that some people think it will bring them closer to god by judging others acording to what the beleve. maybe it is time that we as gay people started a website that listed every anti gay business, so that gay people could avoid doing business with those companies, but this site must also list the full names of the owners at the same time. so that we can have a good laugh when their businesses keep failing

  11. “The state prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the areas of employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and education. ”

    And there you have it! Lawsuit anyone?

    1. Let’s see if Jesus can protect her sorry a*se from the law!

    2. It says nothing about bakers or any other business.

    3. Miguel Sanchez 23 Nov 2011, 3:26pm

      You’re right, “The STATE prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the areas of employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and education. ” BUT in the PRIVATE sector a person can refuse services. It’s called FREE ENTERPRISE.

      Do I agree with it? Yes because that is their right. Would I use them to buy cookies or something else for a party I was having? NO.

      And before you ask, YES, I’M GAY.

      1. Folks — “public accommodations” mean things like private businesses that sell goods to the general public. It is a common term used in many anti-discrimination laws, including the grand old Federal 1964 Civil Rights Act, so people should be more aware of that fact. Details vary, but generally that is what is being referred to. Details for the Iowa Civil Rights Act can be found in definitions section of the following, section 216.2.13.a; first part covers private businesses that sell goods to the general public, second part covers charities that receive public funding.
        http://www.legis.iowa.gov/DOCS/ACO/IC/LINC/Chapter.216.html

        1. I think this is the part that would leave her out of being covered by the law “…shall be deemed a public accommodation if the accommodation receives governmental support or subsidy.”

          1. Paul — actually you are misreading it … you missed the word “gratuitously” just prior to your quote. I admit it is a miserable sentence to parse grammatically, but if you look carefully, there are two parts. The first section (prior to “provided that”) says that all entities that provide goods/services “for a fee or charge” are public accommodations. The second section (following “provided that”) says that entities that provide goods/services “gratuitously” and “receive government support or subsidy” are also public accommodations. Basically it says that private businesses that sell goods to the general public are public accommodations “provided that” charities that receive government funding are public accommodations. The use of the phrase “provided that” is a bit awkward, but in this case all it means is that there is a separate “provision” regarding charities. Regardless, the government-support part only relates to charities … pretty standard for this kind of law.

          2. Paul — this is really annoying … I posted a response, it showed up for a few minutes, and then disappeared … and now they won’t let me re-post because it’s a duplicate. Anyway, you are misreading it. Focus on the portion prior to the phrase “provided that” and mentally highlight the words “for a fee or charge.” That part has to do with private businesses that sell goods to the general public. Then focus on the portion following “provided that” and mentally highlight the words “gratuitously” and “receives governmental support or subsidy.” That part relates to charities that receive government funding. Two separate provisions in the law. The government funding thing only applies to the charity part.

          3. And now my original response is back … sorry for the duplication.

      2. excuse me but the law prohibits private individuals from discrimination. free enterprise means free for everybody not free just for me. the state is the people of the state. there are no peopless states. the people of that state decided that discriminating against gay people is not allowed in free enterprise. because free is free for everybody. you can’t just sell to christians or to evangelicals or to assembly of god but you offer your services to the people, and the people includes all of us. that is the law. if you want to sell your cakes you can’t discriminate.

    4. @Menderin

      I think it is discrimination … I would encourage the couple to take action – if they feel that is the right thing to them …

      Not sure in terms of Iowa protection – which element they would succeed in since they weren’t asking for a job in the bakery, to live in a room above the bakery, borrow money from the bakery or be taught how to make a cake …

      Not trying to be awkward – but given the areas of protection, this might be problematic to link to a wedding cake …

      1. I would have assumed that public accomodation was not literal. I took it to mean services.

      2. “Public accommodation is explicitly defined within the law. Private businesses that seel goods/services to the generally public are included.

        1. @Dave N

          Thanks for the clarification.

          Menderin, in which case I am entirely with you – bring on the lawsuit …

          I just am aware some jurisdictions are literal in their interpretation of certain words … and I am NO expert in Iowa law lol

  12. Poor woman’s off her rocker…where will it end? If Christians can’t provide any service that may be used by gay people there isn’t much choice of employment for the poor things.

    1. Or imagine if it had been a straight but interracial couple…I think it’s really scary…and sad that she truly believes that she would have to answer to God if she sold them a cake. I could see her not feeling able to offer an honest “congratulations” because of what she has been taught to believe…but I really dont see how preparing their cake has that same direct connection…I fear that if she is not “corrected” on this issue, it might embolden other businesses to do the same when they see that there is no push-back…for this couple’s wedding and then spilling over into providing ANY service as to keep “these sinners” from thinking she/they are ENCOURAGING them and the rest of the GLBTQ community…sorry, madam baker, but tolerance and respect for those who don’t believe the same things you do is NOT the same as “encouraging” or
      “enabling”!

      1. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned sinners. Fr xtians, the issue is behaviour (sex not in accordance with the bible).
        Therefore they would serve blacks and interracial couples, but not Gay

        1. Nikki The Bible when misinterpreted (as you have on this issue) also supports slavery and the oppression of women so our baker in this story if indeed she intends to follow out her discriminatory belief patterns in the letter of the Bible would not serve blacks or women without the permission of her husband or father either. And in truth no one actually know if these two women who desired to be married were having sex at all? They very well could hold just as traditional beliefs as.. well.. 1 maybe 2 traditional christians do about sex before marriage. You assume they are having sex because that is the extent to which YOUR mind will allow you to percieve connective loving relationships. Hence you and our baker are engaging in judgement without even having all the facts. Which is illegal in our current system of law as well as what is outlined in christian scripture.

  13. Lord Botley 23 Nov 2011, 1:07pm

    It looks like Iowa’s anti-discrimination laws don’t actually cover the provision of commercial services, if the article has reported them correctly, in which case no legal action can be taken against this woman in any case. Sad if true. loophole to be closed?

    1. Actually, the Iowa Civil Rights Act does cover this … there’s just some confusion over the legal meaning of “public accommodation.” See my post above.

      1. Lord Botley 23 Nov 2011, 4:24pm

        Thanks, I hadn’t read your post. I always thought that ‘public accommodations’ was just American for ‘municipal housing’.
        In light of this, I hope she gets taken to the cleaner’s!

      2. This was my concern – but after Daves explanation – bring on the lawsuit …

  14. douglas in canada 23 Nov 2011, 1:30pm

    I’m curious to know what other “convictions” the baker holds.

    No service for people who drink alcohol? for people who are divorced? for children of unwed parents? for people who do drugs? for people who drive illegally?

    If she can provide a list of all the other people she is prepared to withhold services from, due to her “convictions”, who else would be on it?

    I think it’s just polite discrimination, which is still discrimination.

    If I point a gun at your head, and say,”Sorry this might hurt. would you like to sit down first?” it’s still murder

    1. I wonder if she holds a similar conviction about people who eat to much cake? Because that would be a sin too.

      MY convictions about THEIR lifestyle???!!

    2. Would she refuse a cake to someone getting married a second time, because in her head, there is no recognition of divorce? I doubt it.

    3. Lord Botley 23 Nov 2011, 4:26pm

      Religious convictions are as marvellous in their selectivity as they are in their variety.
      And you are right – bigotry with a smile on its face is still just bigotry, and arguably worse.

    4. Good point douglas…I’d take it a bit further. Their book that they worship so much as the word of god is very specific about adultery and says, Adulterers must be stoned to death…so why is this woman not demanding that all the adulterers in her church be put to death? I’m sure there are many.
      It is true that adultery is the biggest destroyer of the family and surely has no place with their “Family Values” propaganda…but as many believers as non believers commit adultery.

      You need to fight back…every state that is against gay marriage or abortion because their holy book says so should be lobbied that all adulterers of the christian faith receive life in prison for adultery…no exceptions since it is their gods word.

  15. I’m always in two minds about these cases… on the one hand I’m only too aware that legally service providers shouldn’t discriminate in providing goods and services as it sets a lousy precedent.
    But to play devil’s advocate for a moment, knowing where she stands on the issue would any gay couple feel comfortable with anyone that homophobic profiting by their custom, even under protest?
    Paying a dyed in the wool homophobe for your LGBT wedding cake sounds like a bit of a phyrric victory to my way of thinking. There are probably hundreds of other cake providers I’d sooner get one from.
    I’d say boycott the place.

    1. Lord Botley 23 Nov 2011, 6:50pm

      But provided she supplied the service in a decent manner and did not treat these clients less favourably than others, regardless of her own beliefs, there could be an argument for buying her product. It could even influence her attitudes for the better, and those of her clients who probably shared her beliefs. Admittedly, an equally good service provider minus the attitude might be preferred.

  16. Compared to Britain, the level of religious insanity in the US is at epidemic levels.

    The best way to fight this cakemaking lunatic is to destroy the reputation of her business and drive her bankrupt.

    Taking out a lawsuit or filing for discrmination against her is how she wants them to respond. Solely so she can whine ‘Ooh looking at those nasty lezzers, denying me my religious freedom, waaaaah, waaaaah, waaaah’

    1. Sounds a bit vindictive, don’t you think, over a cake? What would drive her crazy is for us to say we forgive her and love her anyway, but that she will have to account to God for her lack of understanding.

      1. It is not remotely vindictive to try to drive her out of business.

        A cakemaker who refuses to make cakes for paying members of the public is clearly not in a suitable profession.

        Driving her out of business is in fact a kindness as she will have more time to devote to Baby Jeebus.

        1. I’d say let everyone you know, know about her practices and she will lose enough business that way. No point in trying to drive her out of business, she’s doing pretty good on her own.

          Plus, it’s more than legal for a business to refuse service to anyone. It’s just not business savvy, which is what she will feel in the end.

          1. It is illegal for her to refuse service to somebody based on their sexual orientation. Iowa law is quite clear on that. If you are still under the impression that it’s only businesses that receive government funding, you are misreading the law. Government funding only impacts whether an entity is a “public accommodation” or not if it is a charity (i.e., provides goods/services “gratuitously”). That part of the law does not apply to private business that provide goods/services to the general public for a fee or charge.

  17. I wouldnt shop there. Letting your beliefs stop you making a cake and to the beat of you ability is not only very UN-christian its also terrible buisness sense.

    1. Her belief in that religion prohibited her from baking a cake???

      So next we’ll have people claiming they don’t have to pay for a car parking ticket or tax, because ‘their religion prohibits such’…

      1. Indeed – This is the disaster waiting to happen if people are allowed to disregard laws because of their religious beliefs. The precedent would be an absolute catastrophe. Consider that the scope, depth and quality of a person’s “belief” cannot be measured, and the talisman that they believe in cannot be proven, then anyone can claim that they believe anything, and circumvent the law (eg – I don’t have to pay my council tax, the invisible pink bunny in the corner of the room told me so. Now prove I’m lying.).

  18. religion is hate
    that is the answer

  19. Paul Canada 23 Nov 2011, 2:46pm

    Bad bad bad. File a complaint. How would a black couple react? Discrimination is discrimination. We live in societies of many beliefs, respect of differing beliefs should be mutual – no more turning the other cheek, it’s time to strike back

  20. soapbubblequeen 23 Nov 2011, 3:20pm

    They should have a Carry On moment and splat the cake in the cakemaker’s face.

  21. Nuala Shields 23 Nov 2011, 4:39pm

    To my knowledge, here in the states, if you are a religious body you can be selective as to whom you provide services for, and/or if you are a private organization or club, you may restrict your card-carrying membership to whom you please, women only, men only, etc. (e.g. a women’s fitness center or a wholesale store that sells memberships and can limit who they allow in to shop). However, if you are a business open to the general public, while you may be “privately owned”, you open yourself to serving everyone who comes in your door without prejudice, regardless of your personal philosophy. Much the same in say, offering a housing rental via word of mouth through friends -vs- putting an ad in a newspaper that is read by the general public. Once it is in the public domain, you are obliged to serve the public. That of course is subject to vary state-by-state here.

    1. Not according to the comments above, and even if it becomes a test case – I would encourage legal action …

  22. Who on earth would want to eat a homophobic wedding cake anyway? It would be very bitter and unpleasant and only made with ingredients that God permitted to be in the recipe. As we know He has strong views about all manner of foodstuffs so I’m sure this cake would be very dull anyway.

    Much better to buy a lovely gay wedding cake made with jolly and delicious ingredients. Would you hire an Ahmish interior designer or take dancing lessons from a Catholic priest? I don’t think so; so let the Fundamentalist Christian baker continue to make traditional boring cakes and use a fabulous camp French patissier instead. Oh, good luck with that in Iowa ;o)

  23. I wouldn’t file a complaint, it just perpetuates the stereotype that we will litigate people who are just trying to exercise their ability to make their own decisions, regardless of how bigoted they are. I think deciding not to, but letting EVERYONE know that this company won’t do that sort of thing, will lose them a lot of business in the long run and will maybe make them rethink their views.

    Plus, seriously?! God is now judging based on making cakes for people you believe he thinks are sinning? Really?!?

  24. Well, I admit to being a bit confused. If she’s worried about answering to God, why wouldn’t she follow the example of the Christ she claims to follow? My recollection of Jesus in the Bible is that he was very welcoming of ‘sinners’ and all sorts of people whom others might have avoided. Didn’t he say something about whatever you do for others, you’re doing for him? Someone, please clarify her religious grounds!

    I totally understand that a Christian might be willing to be unpopular, risk losing their business or a lawsuit, in the name of what is right. It’d just be nice if they took the time to consider what ‘right’ is, before acting out of fear.

    1. the church in the mass or communion service quotes a centurion who asks jesus to cure his slave, eromenos, boy he is in love with. ‘lord i am not worthy’ says the centurion ‘but if you just say the word i know my boy i love will be cured.’ if jesus can cure a centurion’s slave boy, i am sure he would not mind a cake either.

  25. Carlos Bakery in Hoboken, NJ delivers all over the country. And Buddy, an Italian Catholic, has no problem making cakes for anybody who wants one.

    1. Lord Botley 23 Nov 2011, 6:52pm

      Admirable American entrepreneurial spirit with an eye on the main chance!!

    2. If you sold cakes to the UK – I would buy one given your approach and enterpreneurship!

  26. Eva Whitley 23 Nov 2011, 7:18pm

    So, let me see if I’ve got the straight. Her god says she can’t sell a cake to lesbians? The same god that tells his followers that if they want to be good Christians, they need to give away all their money? Seems like the only way she can make things right with god is to give those ladies a free cake & all her money.

    Also, Jesus said marriage is for a lifetime, so she should only do cakes for a second wedding if both partners are widow(er)s.

  27. Har Davids 23 Nov 2011, 8:13pm

    Let’s move on, please, there are plenty of cakemakers who are willing to bake for everybode who’s willing to pay.

  28. “…as it’s to do with me and my walk with God, what I will answer to him for.”

    ‘Nuff said. Poor stupid creature.

  29. to say it is not about the couple is gobbledygook. it is exactly about them. the whole point of her refusal is to assert that two women who love each other are living in sin and that being gay is a style of life, not a right.

  30. Yet more proof that Christians have lost their minds or become the devils they try to destroy. A cake people it is only a cake.
    Second thought was it a devils food cake? LOL, Sue them and sue these nut jobs every chance you can because they only understand money. That is their real God$

  31. she would be fined in the uk for discrimation you can not do it. poor woman is off her rocker hello lady its the 21st century not everybody believe in your sky god

  32. Nei Pori Apartmanic 26 Nov 2011, 5:07pm

    Though I’m not surprised, they should sue her without delay!

  33. Jock S. Trap 15 Dec 2011, 9:32am

    They totally should. This kind of discriminating behaviour is unacceptable and nothing will change unless we start to make a stand and make it count.

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