Once again, Christian bakers are under fire for refusing to make a gay wedding cake. Longview, Texas entrepreneurs Edie and David Delorme are the latest business owners to feel the wrath of the LGBT mafia. On February 17, the Delormes, who own Kern’s Bake Shop, turned a gay couple away when they asked for a cake for their upcoming nuptials.
“I was up front with them,” Edie Delorme told Fox News’ Todd Starnes. “I said, ‘I’m sorry but we don’t provide wedding cakes for homosexual marriages.'”
The gay customers – Ben Valencia and Luis Marmolejo – immediately went public with their complaints. “It just kind of makes you feel dehumanized,” Valencia told the local paper. “People shouldn’t have to worry about going into a business, especially a public business that serves the public, and have to worry about being turned away for something, for who you are.”
But Delorme insists that the policy has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the couple. “It’s not against people or what they choose to be a part of,” she said. “We just felt that was not an event that we needed to participate in.”
Unlike other states where similar disputes have arisen, Texas does not include sexual orientation in their anti-discrimination laws. Therefore, it’s unlikely that the Delormes will face legal consequences for their decision. Even so, the publicity has generated anger against the bake shop and could easily damage their bottom line. Yelp and other review sites quickly filled up with hateful messages.
“See you in Hell, lady,” said one user. “Racist criminals.”
For those keeping score at home, it is apparently now racist to oppose gay marriage.
When you think about it, though, that’s only slightly more ridiculous than calling the Delormes homophobic. In fact, it shouldn’t actually matter whether or not homosexuals are a protected class in Texas because Kern’s didn’t turn away the couple based on their being gay. Until the state decides that gay weddings are protected, business owners should have every right to refuse. This simple, crucial difference seems to elude many.
You don’t have to oppose gay marriage to support the Delormes. You don’t even have to be religious. As long as you believe free speech also includes freedom from coerced speech, these cases are important. Would liberals compel a Muslim bakery to decorate a cake with a picture of Mohammad? Would they force a Jewish bakery to bake goodies for a Nazi rally? Shouldn’t Americans have the right to exercise discretion over which messages they actively endorse?
Now, it’s worth repeating that Kern’s is not in imminent legal danger. And it’s true that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of your speech. If the Delormes suffer financially, well, that’s the market in action.
At the same time, though, if more LGBT liberals understood that there’s nothing hateful or homophobic about refusing to bake a certain cake, they might see that a boycott is entirely unnecessary. In fact, you might say it’s downright intolerant.