So today was the third week of protesting 111Cakery’s decision to turn down a same-sex couple’s business. The bakery refused to make a cake for the couple’s wedding celebration because doing so goes against the owners’ religious beliefs.
I stopped in to chat with the owners beforehand, as we had missed each other last week. I wanted to hear about their decision to pull their Facebook page, and have a conversation about how things were going. The human side of my protest…
Randy shared with me that there were too many hateful, harsh comments on the page, from both sides of the debate. He just decided it wasn’t worth leaving the page up, though he originally had done so to allow people to share their opinions. He commented that there have been only two people to come in and talk with him who opposed their actions – me and a guy named Mike, who joined me for last week’s protest. Everything else against the bakery has been via social media, etc.
Randy continues to be surprised by the reaction from the gay community and our allies. He didn’t realize their decision would have such a “personal impact” on so many people. He referred back to our first conversation, indicating that I helped him understand how this might “land” on a LGBT person…that even though their intention was not to “judge or reject” someone because of their homosexuality, he could now understand how it might be received. Having said that, when I asked him if they had reconsidered their policy or how they might go about dealing with a similar request, he indicated they would make the same choice (though, as he says, the chances of getting another request with all the publicity is pretty slim!) He continues to believe they are doing the right thing, consistent with their religious beliefs. He and his wife just can’t condone, nor can she be “artistically inspired” to create a cake that “celebrates a gay marriage,” which they believe is sinful. I did point out that there is nothing in the Ten Commandments or any of Jesus’ teachings that would indicate that homosexuality is sinful — that’s all old Testament based. And, as he knows, other issues of social justice and civil rights have been “justified” based on religious dogma…yet I doubt he would use the Bible to refuse to make a cake that “celebrated” a black couple’s marriage, because our society has (largely) grown past such an act of racial discrimination (at least from a legal point of view!) But that point fell again on deaf ears…at least for now. God can change hearts with seeds that we plant…who knows!
I did ask him if he would make a cake for a Jewish or Muslim’s couple’s wedding. He responded that he hadn’t really thought of that…but perhaps they “would just stop making wedding cakes all together.” Interesting.
I then asked him, what would they do if laws were changed, and gay marriage was actually considered legal – either at the State level, with some of the lawsuits against the State of Indiana, or by the US Supreme Court. He sidestepped the question, but did acknowledge that it’s just a matter of time before such a change comes about.
At the end of the day, it’s clear the situation has caused them to prayerfully consider their beliefs and actions. Randy indicated there are times in life when “significant events” happen like this, which “cause one to challenge and reflect on long-held beliefs.” Though, in this case, they’ve stayed true to their beliefs that gay marriage goes against God’s design for humanity. I understand where he is coming from. From my experience, I shared with him that the only event that might change he and his wife’s beliefs would be if one of their own children came out of the closet. I know in my case, that’s caused my mom to reconsider her views on homosexuality from a Christian perspective.
So moving on to the protest, I kept with my more neutral, “kinder and gentler” signs, having learned my own lessons about love and compassion and consistency. I mainly used the “Honk 2 Boycott 111Cakery” signs…and continued to get a lot of honks. I’d guess about 30-40% of the cars that passed by honked. For me, that was rewarding.
I also had a first…that REALLY touched me! A car pulled up heading East on 16th and stopped at the light with their window down…and handed me a large café mocha and dessert cake from Starbucks!
The passenger said, “this is a gift for you…” And they wrote “Thank you! on the side of the cup! It was particularly timely because the weather was a bit chilly…so the warm coffee hit the spot!
So, thank you to Universe for all the honks of support…and for my anonymous supporter who went out of their way to bring me a warm drink and sweet!
See y’all next week – Friday, 3-6pm, on 16th between Delaware and Meridian.