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The Des Moines baker was called a “bigot” and faced a protest and Facebook boycott but refused to budge, citing her Christian faith.
(Sources: news reports including Washington Times and Huffington Post.) ■ Fleur Cakes, Oregon: Pam Regentin, the owner of the Mount Hood-area cake shop, refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple earlier this year, sparking another Facebook boycott in May.
(Sources: local news sources here and here and the Huffington Post.) ■ Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, New Jersey: In 2012, a state judge ruled that a Methodist-owned events venue in Ocean Grove violated state law when it refused to host a gay wedding in 2007.
Also, while the discrimination case was still pending, the facility lost its state tax exemption because it was deemed “no longer met the requirements as a place open to all members of the public,” the New York Times reported.
The First Amendment, we are told, will protect religious groups from persecution for their views about marriage. Is the fate of Catholic Charities of Boston an aberration or a sign of things to come?
Seven years later, we have the answer: as of this writing, there have been at least 11 instances of wedding vendors and venues facing some form of recrimination—threats, boycotts, protests, and the intervention of state or judicial authorities—because they denied services for gay nuptials because of their faith.
The owners were reportedly open to holding same-sex ceremonies as long as customers were notified that the events personally violated their Catholic faith. The inn had to settle the case in 2012, paying a ,000 fine and putting double that amount in a charitable trust.Phillips has said he would rather close his bakeshop than compromise his Christian beliefs.(Sources: news reports including Washington Times and Huffington Post.) ■ Victoria’s Cake Cottage, Iowa: Baker Victoria Childress denied service to a lesbian couple hoping to get married in 2011.An online boycott has now been launched against the business.(Sources: local news and the Huffington Post.) ■ Gortz Haus, Iowa: After refusing to host a gay wedding (reported in August), Betty Odgaard, the owner of the business, received threatening calls and e-mails and now must contend with a complaint the couple has filed with the state civil rights commission.
After six years and hundreds of celebratory confections, it wasn’t the economy, the stiff competition, financing, or any of the other usual road bumps of building a new business that caused Sweet Cakes by Melissa—a husband-and-wife bakery in Portland, Oregon area—to close its doors at the end of the summer.