A Michigan TV station is reporting that a local cake decorator is taking some heat after she backed out of a deal to decorate a cake for what she later discovered was a gay wedding.
A recent status update by Bake It U.P. Cakes explains that the business denied services to a same-sex couple after it was commissioned to decorate a cake for an upcoming wedding. The decorator was unaware it was for a same-sex couple, and as soon as she found out, the business backed out of the transaction. The post states, “This has nothing to do with the person, or the lifestyle they choose. This is about me not participating in the event… I have nothing against this person for their choice in lifestyle. If this person had come to me for any other occasion and needed a cake I would have gladly made one for him.”
Public response was immediate and negative.
According to the report, people are flocking to give the business one-star ratings and negative reviews. But not all of the reviews are negative.
Although now in the minority, the page has also been receiving support for the decision with several new five-star reviews. “The owner said she had no problem with the people, she just did not want to be involved in the act on a moral objection,” said Chris Kuzak in a recent five star public review. “That’s very different from ‘discriminating against gays.’ What if a religious extremist walked in to radio shack and asked for parts to build a bomb? If the clerk refused would that be discrimination?”
Ah, yes, a very tricky, very subtle, very delicate moral enigma. Let’s see if we can unravel this just a bit. Terrorist bombs explode, and maim or kill innocent people. Gay weddings don’t.
Understand the difference now?
What I find fascinating about all this is the pains that bigots take to deny that they are treating gays any differently when they treat gays differently. “I have nothing against this person or their choice of lifestyle,” says the decorator (which is pretty bigoted in and of itself). But in fact she’s simply lying, as shown by her actions. She has this against them: she feels that their marriage is so horrible that she cannot “participate” in it, even to the point of just putting some icing on the wedding cake. That’s what she really believes, but she knows how bigoted that kind of narrow-mindedness is, so she tries to say it’s not what she believes. And fails.
Likewise the guy who tries to claim that denying service to gays is no different than denying bomb parts to terrorists. “That’s not discriminating against gays,” he says, while comparing gay marriage to terrorist attacks. Yeah, totally informed and unbiased opinion there guy.
To be fair, though, I think the critics may be going too far too.
After the recent controversial status update, the small business has been flooded with poor reviews and a lot of criticism from Upper Peninsula residents. Many Facebook users commenting on the page haven’t even tried Bake It U.P. Cakes as a customer, but felt the urge to chime in on the debate over a business’ right to refuse services based on moral conviction.
If they’re criticizing the business practice as reported, then that’s fair, but if they’re giving it one-star ratings without ever having used the service, I think that’s misleading. This lady may in fact be a perfectly capable cake decorator, and manipulating the rating system to try and sabotage her business smacks of the heckler’s veto. This is not like LambdaConf, where an organization claims to promote diversity while inviting speakers who are actively working against it. This is strictly a private business making private business decisions. We should be very clear that we are attacking the bigotry of Bake It U.P. Cakes’ business practices, and not the quality of their product.