Indiana Bakery Denies Service to Same-Sex Couple
A bakery in Indianapolis, Ind., is coming under fire after reportedly refusing to bake a same-sex couple a cake, Indianapolis' Fox affiliate station WXIN reports.
Mike Stephens and Shane Laney wanted to celebrate their relationship in a commitment ceremony in April and Stephens ordered a cake from 111 Cakery, located in downtown Indianapolis.
"[The owner] said, 'We don't do that. If I can help you with anything else, but we don't discriminate.' That was the end of it," he told WXIN. "It's disappointing."
Randy and Trish McGath, who owns the bakery, took to Facebook and posted a long message about the incident.
Though they say they are committed to "treat every person that walks through the door with Respect & Kindness" the Facebook post goes on to read:
" When asked to do a cake for an occasion or with a theme (alcohol explicit in nature) that is in opposition to our faith, that inspiration is not found. We feel that it is important for a paying customer to know when this is the case. Why would you want a cake that is less then inspired for your special event. That is why this week we told a man that requested a cake for a same-sex ceremony that it was against our policy, but we would be happy to help him with anything else.
It was not that we wanted to deny them a cake it's just tough to create something that goes against your beliefs. Was this the right thing to say? Maybe not, but this phone call caused us to do a lot of soul searching because we want to be right with our God as well as respect others. We have not heard from this man but would welcome a chance to meet with him. We sincerely wish them the best."
The post adds: "there is zero hate here. We are not judging the lives of our clients. We are not trying to make a political statement or change someone's mind. We respect the fact that everyone has different values and beliefs. Everyone is entitled to their opinion we would encourage you to share those in a respectful way."
As of this writing, the post has 257 likes, 142 shares and plenty of comments:
"I'm sorry, you've lost me as a return customer," one user wrote.
"Unless you are asking everyone that requests cakes what their sins are then this is 100% wrong. Do you ask people if they're an alcoholic? Or if they had a kid out of wedlock? Or ever been divorced? What about ever assaulted someone or been to jail? If you're going to deny one "sin" you need to deny all of them," another wrote.
"Trish - this isn't love at all and it seems like hate. I have done so much business with you and brought so many people to your business. I will NEVER eat anything from your store again and will tell everyone I told about your store about this horrible attitude about a same-sex cake. It's a cake. You are in the cake business and not in my business. You are not changing lives. You make cakes. I will take my business elsewhere," a former 11 Cakery customer said.
The couple spoke with WXIN and said they didn't want to hurt anyone and haven't refused service to anyone because of who they are. They say they do their business based on faith.
"As artists, we have to find inspiration to create something special for our clients," said Randy McGath said. "When asked to do a cake for an occasion or with a theme that's in opposition with our faith? It's just hard for us. We struggle with that."
He reiterated his "zero hate" policy and said, "This causes us to do a lot of soul searching. Why are we doing what we do? We want to show the love of Christ. We want to be right with our God, but we also want to show kindness and respect to other people."
WXIN spoke with legal experts who said the bakery has the right to serve who they want.
Stephens and Laney said they have moved on.
"We found someone that will do it for us so we're going to focus on the good," Stephens said.
The incident comes just a few weeks after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed business owners to refuse service to LGBT people in the name of religious beliefs.