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Dairy Queen owner refuses to write ‘happy birthday lesbian’ on cake because ‘it’s a family establishment’

Lily Wakefield January 22, 2021
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Dairy Queen cake with icing that reads "happy birthday lesbian"

(Global News)

The owner of a Dairy Queen franchise in Canada refused to write “happy birthday lesbian” on a cake, claiming it was a “family establishment”.

According to Global News, Summer Gibbons visited a Dairy Queen drive-through in the town of Cochrane, in Alberta, Canada, on her 22nd birthday to get an ice-cream cake.

Gibbons, who has been out for two years, drove up to the window with her sister and requested a cake with the words: “Happy birthday lesbian.”

While the employee at the window seemed fine at first with their request, attitudes soon changed.

“Her supervisor told her it was family establishment and they can’t put that on a cake for other families to see,” said Gibbons.

When she and her family followed up later with owner of the Dairy Queen location, he told them it was “policy because it was sexual in nature to put on a cake”.

Gibbons said it was hurtful “having that feeling of not be welcomed for being who I am and that not being OK”.

Her sister Gracie added: “It was upsetting watching her feel that, especially on her birthday, and I was worried about her.

“She felt embarrassed and ashamed and she should never have to feel that for who she is.”

The Dairy Queen franchise owner Tim Morrison later apologised, and said in a statement: “I can assure you that there is no place for discrimination in my restaurant.

“Our intent is to create custom cakes that are inclusive and non-discriminatory, which is why we have a policy that custom cake orders only can include inclusive and non-discriminatory language.

“After talking with fans and employees, I acknowledge we did not properly follow our policy… I am truly sorry for the harm we caused.

“I will be retraining the team on custom cake orders to ensure we learn from the incident and provide an inclusive environment for all who visit DQ.”

Gibbons added: “He knows what he said was wrong, and I appreciate that we’re all human, we all make mistakes. I respect his apology.”

Luckily, another Dairy Queen brand fulfilled her request with no issue.

Related topics: Alberta, Canada

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