Apparently God doesn’t want you to bake cakes for The Gays, or sell wedding dresses to The Gays, or rent honeymoon suites to The Gays, and now She’s put her foot down about those pesky invitations to same-sex weddings.
At least in Suwanee, Georgia, where Alan Akins, the owner of the local Alpha Graphics franchise, declined to print wedding invitations because God.
Paige Beckwith, one of the brides, says that throughout her wedding planning process she has been open with vendors that there would be two brides on the wedding day, and that not one vendor had an issue until she met with Alan Akins.
Beckwith found Alpha Graphics through a friend and called to explain the kind of invitation she and her fiancée wanted, and Akins returned her call saying he would not do the job because he doesn’t support same-sex marriage.
"I kept asking him how, why, how he could do this? He just basically stood on his religious beliefs, referenced the Bible, called it a sin, and I was basically in tears saying how could you treat me this way?" — Paige Beckwith
Akins declined to talk on camera because, well, bigot; he did say, however, via phone, that he would have printed other things for the couple, just not wedding invitations.
Oh shoot! It’s a shame Paige Beckwith wasn’t having a birthday party, or a Tupperware party because Akins would have been all over that; too bad all she wants to do is invite friends to her wedding.
Too bad also, that Akins is within his legal rights to deny service because under Georgia law businesses do have the right to say I'm not going to do business with this sort of couple.
And for the record, that could mean any couple, black, white, gay, straight, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic; in Georgia, discrimination against anyone is apparently legal.
The story does have a happy ending, though, because Paige Beckwith took her complaint to the Alpha Graphics 's main office — the Suwannee business is a franchise — and the company apologized, offered to design and print her invitations at no charge and released this statement:
“We do not condone discrimination of any kind, and wish to make clear that customers of any race, religion, nationality, ethnicity or sexual orientation are welcome at our franchisees' locations nationwide.
We also wish to apologize to the customers who were impacted by the actions of this franchisee, and hope that our response conveys the level of commitment we feel toward upholding our company's standards of inclusion, and that all members of the Suwanee community continue to feel welcome at Alpha Graphics.”
It’s too bad the franchisees don’t have to follow the philosophies, and business practices, of the company, and can just let their Hate Flag fly.
Now, howsabout some cake? Yeah, we’re going there again.
Remember the story of gay high school student Anthony Martinez who was invited to his prom by his best friend, and a heterosexual, Jacob Lescenski? If not, see post HERE.
Anyway, Jennifer Sandoval, Anthony’s aunt, was thrilled by all the positive attention her nephew has gotten after his straight best friend asked him to prom, and so she went to her local Wal-Mart to get him a surprise cake to celebrate before the dance; she asked the associate in the bakery to print the following on the cake:
'You're gay, he's straight, you're going to prom, you couldn't have had a better date.’
Well, the bakery assistant said she couldn't write that on the cake because it included the word "gay," which was against store policy. Sandoval then asked to speak with a supervisor, who basically reiterated what the bakery clerk had said: they could not, would not, will not, shall not, print the word ‘gay’ on a cake.
Sandoval settled for a cake that read, "You matter, prom kings." I might have settled for taking my complaint as high up as it could have gone. But then Jennifer Sandoval contacted FOX5 who reached out to Wal-Mart, and another spokesman, who said that nowhere in their store's policy does it say the word "gay" can't be written on a cake.
A store manager is set to contact Sandoval to make this wrong right, but as she now says, it’s a little too late:
"It wasn't hurtful. It was to make my nephew happy, to see a smile on his face. I love that smile, to see that smile, that's all I wanted, and I'm disappointed. I really am."
Does it get any more ridiculous? ‘Gay’ cannot be written in icing on a pastry, y’all, because some bigot in the bakery department of a Wal-Mart doesn’t wanna do it. Or, considering that it’s a Wal-Mart employee, maybe she couldn’t spell ‘gay’.
That last bit was sarcasm … save your complaints … but let me make this perfectly queer: if you don’t approve of same-sex marriage, don’t have one, and don’t go to one, but if you own a business that prints invitations, then just do the job and keep your beliefs out of it.
And if you’re icing a cake, just write what you’re being asked to write on the cake; you don’t have to agree with the sentiment and goddess know no one is asking you to eat the cake, just ice it.
Do.Your.Jobs. It’s that simple.
Anthony and Jacob photo via Teen Vogue