Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Marjorie Silva Won't Bake A 'God Hates Fags' Cake

We’ve heard all the stories of florists who don’t want to sell flowers for two grooms getting married, and bakeries that won’t make cakes for same-sex-couples, but this is a new twist.

Marjorie Silva, owner of the Azucar Bakery in Denver will bake a cake for any occasion, for anyone, gay or straight or whatever. Until recently.

See, an older man came into her store one day and said he wanted a cake shaped to look like the Bible, and Silva said that was not a problem; she says she makes Christian-themed cakes "all the time” but this one was so different.

The man, when telling Silva what he wanted, took out a piece of paper with the words he wanted written on the cake, but he would not hand it over. One of the employees said he wanted them to write “God Hates fags” on the cake.
“He wouldn’t allow me to make a copy of the message, but it was really hateful. I remember the words detestable, disgrace, homosexuality, and sinners.”—Marjorie Silva
Still, Marjorie, to her credit, said she’d bake it, with a caveat ... she would not write those words on the cake but would “sell him a [decorating] bag with the right tip and the right icing so he could write those things himself.” She says she would have been devastated to release a cake with such a hateful message fashioned by her own hands.

And that’s when the man stood up, told her that she needed to talk to her attorney, and left.

Hmmm, I smell a set-up. And lo and behold, a few hours later, the man came back and asked if she’d conferred with her lawyer; she told him she was busy and didn’t have time, but once more offered to bake the Bible cake and sell him the tools to complete the task himself but that is clearly not what he wanted. She says, though no one raised their voice, the man was creating a scene and she asked him to leave, which he did.

Then he came back again — the third time in one day — and this time Marjorie asked her brother to excuse him, but before he left, he told Marjorie, and her staff, “You will hear from me!”

And she did, via a letter filed with Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies [DORA] that explained that a discrimination complaint had been filed against the bakery and that she would need to respond with her account of what happened that afternoon:
I can … tell you that the customer wanted us to draw two males holding hands … with a big ‘X’ on them. I told him that we do not like to discriminate in this bakery, we accept all humans and that the message and drawing is extremely rude.
Marjorie admits to being confused as to why the man chose her bakery, but said it might have had something to do with a pro-marriage-equality statement she gave to a Spanish-speaking news outlet after the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision; that’s the case where the Colorado Civil Rights Commission upheld a judge’s ruling that a Lakewood bakery was guilty of discrimination when the owners refused to bake cakes for gay weddings.

Marjorie suspects the man might have been organizing the backlash and using her shop to stage his protest, but she adds, in her response to DORA:
I would like to make it clear that we never refused service. We only refused to write and draw what we felt was discriminatory against gays. In the same manner we would not … make a discriminatory cake against Christians, we will not make one that discriminates against gays.”
DORA will make a decision 30 days from receipt of Marjorie’s final statement, but let me make this perfectly queer: asking someone to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is nothing like asking someone to bake a Bible cake with “God Hates Fags” on it.
One cake celebrates love, the other celebrates hate.

And possibly tastes terrible, too.
via NCRM and OutFront


the dogs' mother said...

Interesting and to be expected I'm sure. Got me thinking - what if a customer asked a baker to write all sorts of profanity on a cake. All the four letter words? What if the person asked for words advocating killing someone?
And is writing words more intrusive and destructive to the baker than arranging flowers is to a florist?(btw Arlene's Florist goes to trial in March - so far no-one in the family has gotten a jury summons yet....)

Isobel Tolley said...

People will probably accuse Marjorie and her supporters of double standards over this... I think the best reply is to say there's a difference between saying 'I won't serve you, I won't sell a cake to you because I disapprove of your race/sexuality/religion' and 'I won't sell a cake that says that. Marjorie has certain things she's not willing to write or draw on a cake, that's different from saying she won't make a cake for a particular person/type of person

anne marie in philly said...

I'm with marjorie on this one; she did not refuse him service, she was calm and rational. the man is being the h8er here.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering when something like this would happen, and it will be interesting to see how it is ruled on. In this case, I really think the situation is not at all the same as the refusal to serve cases. What if a Klansman came in and wanted a burning cross cake with anti-Semitic or other racist language on it? While the Klan has a right to their hate speech, can't a baker say I want no part of it? At the same time, when the Klan buys a billboard, why aren't they refused? Why can't the billboard company say we won't post such hate? Free speech rights confuse the heck out of me. Whew - got off track. Anyway, refusal to serve is not the same as right to free speech. However, I would not want a cake from a bakery with that anti-gay ideology. Not going to eat something from someone who hates me.

Isobel Tolley said...

I'd say that you couldn't refuse to make a plain cake for someone just because you knew they were in the Ku Klux Klan, but you could refuse to make a pro-Ku Klux Klan cake.

Obviously I'm with Marjorie on this and imagine anyone posting on here would be. I'm just suggesting ways to deflect accusations of double standards

Biki Honko said...

But the fundies cant tell the difference between hate and love.