John M. Becker

Anti-Gay Oregon Bakers: Some 'Sins' Are Worse Than Others

Filed By John M. Becker | June 06, 2013 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Christianists, Colorado, hypocritical Christians, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, Oregon, religious exemptions, same-sex marriage, special rights, theocrats, weddings

ruined_cake.jpgRemember last month when we learned about Pam Regentin, the Oregon baker who claimed that her personal anti-gay "principles" gave her a free pass to violate state anti-discrimination law with impunity?

Well the Willamette Week, a newspaper out of Portland, decided to investigate Ms. Regentin, along with Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa (another bigoted bakery). Their goal was see whether the bakers' oh-so-Christian beliefs compelled them to refuse service to other, non-LGBT heathens.

Reporter Martin Cizmar writes:

We wondered what other requests these cakemakers would decline to honor. So... five WW reporters called these two bakeries anonymously to get price quotes for other occasions frowned upon by some Christians. Surprisingly, the people who answered the phone at each bakery were quite willing to provide baked goods for celebrations of divorces, unmarried parents, stem-cell research, non-kosher barbecues and pagan solstice parties.

The paper later asked both bakeries to explain the inconsistencies, but they refused. 

Try to contain your shock at such blatant hypocrisy.

It just goes to show once again that for most of these bigots, it isn't really about deeply-held "principles" at all. It's about naked, malicious anti-gay bias, and their goal is to secure for themselves a special right to discriminate against LGBT people by cloaking that bigotry in the mantle of religion.

Jesus wept.

UPDATE: A third bakery, this one in Colorado, was also recently busted in a similar manner. Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colorado refused to fill an order for a lesbian couple, who ordered cupcakes to celebrate their commitment ceremony.

One of the women, Stephanie Schmalz, decided to try an experiment. She called back and told the owner, Jack Phillips, that she was hosting a wedding celebration for two dogs and needed a cake to feed 20 people. She even requested the names "Roscoe" and "Buffy" on the cake. Phillips offered to serve her and quoted a price without hesitation.

Phillips told another couple that he would no sooner bake a cake for a same-sex wedding than he would for a pedophile.

According to the ACLU, which filed a civil rights complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, Colorado law prohibits retail business from discriminating based on sexual orientation, yet Phillips admitted that it is "store policy" to refuse service to same-sex couples for weddings or commitment ceremonies.

Writes ACLU Advocacy Associate Kjela Parks:

The Masterpiece owners have claimed their policy is based on their "reading of the Word of God." But their business is not a house of worship. Colorado law allows members of the clergy to decide whom they will join in a marriage or civil union - and that's consistent with the principles of religious liberty our nation was founded on. While bakery owners are free to practice their faith and to personally oppose same-sex marriage, they cannot use those beliefs as an excuse to disrespect and discriminate against customers. The store has no more right to turn away a gay couple than to turn away an interracial couple, no matter what the owners' personal beliefs.

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