John M. Becker

PA Baker Says Jesus Told Her to Turn Away Gay Couple

Filed By John M. Becker | August 14, 2014 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: cake wars, Christianists, gay marriage, Marriage discrimination, marriage equality, Pennsylvania, religious exemptions, same-sex marriage, special rights, theocrats, weddings

cake-pros-discrimination-pennsylvania.jpgA popular bakery in east-central Pennsylvania is making headlines and causing controversy after the owner refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple.

Lorraine Fleming, owner of The Cake Pros in Schuylkill Haven, claims that her decision is the result of a half-month conversation with Jesus. Seriously.

WFMZ reports:

Bethany and Jennifer Petrich now have to make a change of plans for a ceremony to renew their vows.. "I loved the work [Cake Pros] did and it tasted great. It's a hometown bakery. I wanted to support my hometown," said Jennifer Petrich. "My mom, who is planning our wedding, called and made the appointment for us. It was okay at that time and she was open and honest and said it's for Bethany and Jennifer."

But the women say things took a not-so-sweet turn when Jennifer's mom received a phone call. "They had called and said to her that they were a Christian bakery and the owner had talked to Jesus for two weeks and that because it was two females getting married she couldn't make our cake," said Jennifer.

Fleming told the station that while she's sorry that she hurt the couple's feelings, she stands by her decision and her anti-LGBT religious beliefs. "I'm not sorry for my decision and I feel strong. I know that I'm doing the right thing." In an interview with Eyewitness News, Fleming added:

"We have homosexuality in our family and it was a hard decision to make, but in the end when I die and I'm one on one with God I have to stand true to him."

Predictably, the baker is now claiming that she -- not the couple she refused to serve -- is the real victim here, alleging that her employees have been harassed and that the negative backlash forced her to remove her company's Facebook page.

w-w-bridal-boutique.jpgThis is the second time in less than a week that a Pennsylvania wedding vendor has refused to serve a same-sex couple: last Friday, the Associated Press reported that W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg turned away a lesbian couple. Owner Victoria Miller said that "providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God's law."

Unfortunately, it's perfectly legal in Pennsylvania to discriminate against LGBT people -- even on the basis of imaginary conversations with Jesus and selective interpretations of "God's law" -- as there are no state-level non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in housing, employment, or public accommodations. Pennsylvania is the only marriage equality state where there are absolutely no legal protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

Eyewitness News's report on the Schuylkill Haven story is after the break.

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