An Ohio bakery reportedly refused to make a birthday cake after learning the customer is in a same-sex relationship. The issue was initially reported on Facebook by Cee Lowe, who ordered the cake for a birthday celebration. Although Take the Cake: Bakery & Cake Design Shop initially agreed to fill the order, the owner reportedly viewed the customer’s Facebook page, determined she is a lesbian, and subsequently refused to make the cake.
The text message, which was attributed to the owner of Take the Cake, was apologetic but firm.
“Candice, I’m sorry… I just realized your [sic] in a same sex relationship and we do not do cakes for same sex weddings or parties… I’m so sorry. I wasn’t aware of this exactly until I saw your page… “
In the comment section under the photo, Candice Lowe explained the cake was ordered for her wife Amanda’s birthday party. In her own words, it had “nothing to do with gay sh*t.”
According to the Take the Cake Facebook page, the bakery is owned by LaGresha Fizer-Brown, who runs the business out of her Toledo, Ohio, home. As stated in the company overview, Fizer-Brown has “over 16 years of experience in the cake baking industry with over 10 years in cake design.”
— caketoppers (@caketoppers) July 7, 2016
In addition to the menu, Take the Cake’s Facebook page features photos of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and pies baked and decorated by Fizer. However, the page does not specify that the products are only available to heterosexuals and heterosexual couples.
After Cee Lowe posted the text message to her Facebook page, the bakery received a barrage of negative comments and reviews. However, LaGresha Fizer-Brown has not publicly responded to the accusations or the comments.
According to Equality Ohio, Toledo is one of 15 Ohio municipalities with an ordinance to prevent discrimination against LGBT couples and individuals. However, Cee Lowe has not discussed whether she is considering a lawsuit.
In an interview with 13 ABC, Lowe said she was simply disappointed that her order was canceled due to her sexual preference. She was also disturbed because Take the Cake owner LaGresha Fizer-Brown apparently “stalked” her Facebook page to gain that information.
“… after she saw my Facebook page, she found out that I was in a same-sex marriage and she could not do my cake… It wasn’t a wedding cake, it was just a birthday cake… A birthday cake has nothing to do with your sexual preference.”
The news about Cee Lowe’s experience with Take the Cake bakery brings to mind several other cases involving businesses refusing to serve homosexuals and homosexual couples.
— gregg symonds (@greggsymonds) June 14, 2016
In 2012, Colorado baker Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to bake a cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins because same-sex marriage is against his religious beliefs.
Two years later, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined Jack Phillips violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law. As a result, Phillips was ordered to change his policies and to attend sensitivity training. The American Civil Liberties Union reports he is also prohibited from turning customers away based on their sexual preference.
In 2013, Oregon bakers Melissa and Aaron Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, refused to bake a wedding cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer because they do not believe in same-sex marriage.
Following a two-year legal battle, the Kleins were ordered to pay Laurel and Rachel $135,000 for damages, which include emotional suffering. Fox News reports the decision was based on Oregon’s anti-discrimination laws.
Cee Lowe’s experience with Take the Cake bakery underlines the fact that there is still confusion about anti-discrimination laws and what they mean for local businesses. It should be noted that there are several Ohio bakeries named Take the Cake. However, Lowe’s complaint is with the location in Toledo.
[Image via Africa Studio/Shutterstock]