Since the US Supreme Court’s historic ruling bringing marriage equality to same gender couples in the entire USA, wedding venders, especially bakers, have occasionally refused to bake wedding cakes or provide other wedding services for LGBT couples. Now, at least one baker has decided that not only will she not create wedding cakes for same gender couples, but if she finds out that someone is LGBT, she won’t make them a birthday cake either.
Candice & Amanda Lowe were married two weeks ago. They have been on their honeymoon in Miami FL. Before they left for Florida, Candice ordered a birthday cake for Amanda’s surprise birthday party, which was to be celebrated after their return home. She ordered the cake from Take the Cake: Bakery and Cake Design Shop in Toledo OH. However, while in Florida, on 4 JUL, Candice received a text message from the baker, LeGresha Fizer-Brown. In the text message the baker stated that she would not bake the cake, as she did not provide cakes for GLBT folks. Of course, Fizer-Brown had no idea that Candice was a lesbian when the cake was ordered and admitted that in her text message. Fizer-Brown, who runs her bakery out of her home, asked Candice for her Facebook page address, promising that when the cake was finished, she would post a photo of the cake to Candice’s page. It was by reading Candice’s FB page that the baker learned that Candice was not only a lesbian, but also recently married.
Candice was stunned by the text message at first, but later she posted a screenshot of the message to her FB page for family and friends to see. Her FB post went viral and has garnered support for the couple from across the country. It appears that folks have also “taken it to the streets” online by posting negative comments about the bakery on both Yelp and the Take the Cake FB page. The local ABC & NBC affiliates also have picked up the story and have covered it in their local news broadcasts. After telling the ABC affiliate she would speak to a reporter, to date Fizer-Brown has not returned phone calls or answered the door of her business for media inquiries. No one currently understands Fizer-Brown’s reasoning for not providing cakes to LGBT folks.
Although Toledo OH has anti-discrimination legislation on the books to protect LGBT folks with regard to housing and employment, it does not specifically include public services & accommodations. The couple have not stated that they intend to take legal action against the bakery. They have expressed that they hope the bakery has learned something from this situation. At this point it is unknown whether Fizer-Brown is using “religious liberty” as her reasoning for denying service to LGBT community members. But this experience is a demonstration of LGBT folks experiencing the sting and disappointment of ongoing discrimination in the US.
The text screenshot & the photo are from Candice Lowe’s Facebook page.