Bil Browning

Iowa Baker Won't Make Lesbians' Wedding Cake

Filed By Bil Browning | November 14, 2011 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: anti-gay discrimination, Des Moines, Iowa, lesbian couple, marriage equality, wedding cake

What is it with Midwesten bakers refusing to serve LGBT people? First there was "Cupcakegate" in Indianapolis and wedding-cake-2.jpgnow a Des Moines baker has refused to create a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers, who are engaged to be married, said planning for their June wedding took an unexpected turn during a taste-testing appointment Thursday afternoon.
"They came in and she introduced herself, and I said, 'Is this your sister?' (She said,) 'No, this is my partner.' I said, 'OK,' and I asked them to sit down and I said, 'We need to talk,'" said Victoria Childress, who runs her cake baking business from home. "I said, 'I'll tell you I'm a Christian, and I do have convictions.' And I said, 'I'm sorry to tell you, but I'm not going to be able to do your cake."
"I didn't do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right as a business owner. It is my right, and it's not to discriminate against them. It's not so much to do with them, it's to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer (to) him for," Childress said.

I've long said that people who insist on forcing a prejudiced business owner to do business with them are nuts. Would you want an anti-gay bigot making your wedding cake? I wouldn't. If I was forced to do it, I'd make the shittiest cake possible and charge out the nose for it. Thankfully, this couple seems more inclined to just do the story justice - publicize it.

When the shop owner says, "It's about me," she's right. It is. It's her right to be as prejudiced as she thinks her God demands; it's our right to let everyone know she blatantly judges the worthiness of couples' relationships when they try to purchase baked goods for their wedding.


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I felt the same way: Exasperated that people demand business from bigots (who wants to give them money?) but consoled by the fact that this couple only seems to be making others aware of her business practices rather than demanding that she serve them.

Annette Gross Annette Gross | November 14, 2011 4:41 PM

Yes, we went through this here in Indy with Cupcakegate. I wouldn't give a dime to anyone who didn't want my business because they're bigots. If I were that couple, I'd walk right out the door. Also, what is this all of a sudden with "my convictions?" Now business owners judge people based on religion and sexuality and decide if they'll do business with them? I grew up learning about the Melting Pot and that we are all different but we should celebrate those differences. I believe Childress WILL be judged one day, and not very well. Bigots are still bigots and I believe they will get what they deserve. A nice coconut-cream pie in the face would be a good start!

What I don't understand is why no one seems to be reporting that the couple told her, from the very beginning, that it's a Lesbian wedding! Yet, the baker invited them to a tasting anyone?! Can you imagine what a humiliating experience that must have been? Hell, the local media isn't even highlighting the fact that sexual orientation is protected by Iowa's anti-discrimination law (something that NOM would certainly like to see revoked!).

What gets me is if anyone suggested not doing business with them b/c they are bigots, then 'acting on your beliefs' is just wrong and mean. Then the poor business owners are being discriminated against b/c of their religious beliefs.

Even though discrimination is _never_ okay and this baker sounds awful, the bride and bride are probably better off without having to deal with her! Carla Hall, one of my favorite Top Chef contestants of all time, said that, when she cooks, she puts energy and emotion and love into her food. That's what you want in a wedding cake. When I got married, I chose a lesbian baker, new to the business, with virtually no wedding cake experience. I knew that supporting my community would just taste better! And it did -- it was one of the best cakes I've ever had in my life.
Mazel tov to the happy couple, and I hope they find a baker who appreciates her/ his place in their upcoming ritual, and who bakes with love.

Someone's having a slow news day in Iowa, it seems. For gawd's sake, go buy your wedding cake from someone who wants your business. And as far as the bigot baker, it's no wonder she's still cooking at home and displaying her samples in her living room if she's so quick to turn away potential clients in an economy like this.

Of course, if this happened in Chicago, the appropriate thing to do would be to drop a dime on her with one or more of the applicable food licensing and inspection departments. You know she has to be breaking at least a dozen regulations regarding food handling, sanitation, refrigeration, who know's what. And I wonder if she's been collecting and remitting the proper amounts of sales tax? Praise Jesus! She could be up to her keister in citations and red tape in no time flat.

In my opinion Victoria Childress is a retard. Women have known for at least 5,000 years how to poison food when necessary to address a problem. Instead Victoria Childress opts for a lecture. What's up with that? Bless her little heart. I think she was just venting because she couldn't really condemn the lesbians and bake a poison cake.

From the news in 1963:

:Why would a self respecting Negro want to eat at Woolworth's lunch counter anyway? Why, there's a perfectly nice negro cafe on 79th street."

We must fight bigotry wherever we see it.

The better way to fight this is for gays and lesbians to assert that they are perfectly fine with someone's religious convictions, but that each business that will not serve gay people should PUT UP A SIGN listing ALL of their religious convictions that keep them from serving, not just gay people but ALL who meet their religious criteria.

It's not the gay couple's fault if they had NO IDEA before they even actually contacted this business owner.
What's unfair of this owner (and all the others), is to NOT HAVE any kind of sign, warning or other way of someone to know what those convictions actually ARE.
And they don't seem to be very CONSISTENT in those beliefs and convictions. Their tests are all invisible to everyone.
So, their 1st amendment rights allow them to post who they will and won't serve and there needs to be EQUAL discrimination, as much as EQUAL accommodation.

But we all know exactly why such business owners DON'T post their religious convictions, even as they are CLAIMING them after the fact.

But the BALL is in THEIR court, so to speak. They can act on those convictions where EVERYONE can see them.
That way, they can avoid a lawsuit, and their potential patronage can avoid them too.
Can I get a witness?

I'm going to call that place myself and make that suggestion! :0P

The baker needs a picket in front of her business during the height of wedding season. She has a right to her beliefs, but she needs to know that there is a cost. Oh there is a lesbian who makes gorgeous cakes in Baton Rouge. Her name is Sandy and you can call Metropolitan Community Church of Baton Rouge to reach her.

There was actually a store here that sold things like countertops that interior designers might buy. They said they were not going to serve gay people either. Talk about cutting off your nose!

The things that conservatives think pleases God! They are just worshipping the wrong deity entirely and are going to be really shocked when they see who is in heaven. Jesus Christ was radical left!