Written by Karen Matamoros
This post was updated on April 20, 2015, due to the overwhelming response it has received.
Originally this blog post had been intended to serve as a quasi-FAQ page, a once-and-for-all statement on the matter to which we could refer anyone who inquired about what we have now lovingly dubbed the Hate Cake. The objective was to help keep the phone lines open for our actual customers. We wanted to make very clear that we had every intention of respecting the law while still respecting our beliefs.
Then the post was featured on both Rise Miami News and IfYouOnlyNews.com and we were off to the races. We have been flooded with love and support from across the nation. Phone calls, emails and new customers have been pouring in since last Tuesday and we have been truly humbled by the experience.
In addition to the support, however, some concerns were raised as to the implications of our statement. When it was first written the original post made brief reference to the First Amendment protections and exclusions, which we have adopted as guidelines for our company policy restricting service, but did not endeavor into detail. We now recognize the need for further annotation, and though we are not attorneys by any stretch of the imagination, we will attempt to explain what we feel is our responsibility to our customers.
When a customer approaches us with a cake order, we are being solicited to recreate something reflective of his or her personal sentiments and design, and consider that cake to fall under the designation of his or her freedom of speech, not ours. Our freedom of speech entitles us to state any company sentiments using mediums (such as this post) on our website or across social media, posting signage in our storefront, etc.
So, setting aside principles for a moment and using the aforementioned guidelines: just as we could not discriminate against someone who walked through the door by refusing service based on race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, etc., we would not discriminate against someone strictly on the basis of disagreeing with the sentiments he or she wished to have represented on his or her cake. In the same respect, based on the exclusions to the First Amendment, we will not reproduce any sentiments which would fall under the categories of obscenity, threats, hate speech, etc., and not just with specific regard to the LGBT community, but with regard to the community at large.
So, in short, if we were approached and asked to make a cake with threatening or obscene language or images on it (regardless of its target), we would certainly exercise the right to refuse service. However, if, for instance, we were asked to bake a cake with “We Do Not Support Gay Marriage” written on top, or one depicting a big red “X” over a silhouette of two grooms, then:
Yes, our company policy asserts that we will make that cake;
Yes, we will indeed make that cake; and, finally,
Yes, we will take that money and donate it to an LGBT cause.
Our belief, as a company, is that no one should be denied service. Hearing stories about couples who have attempted to place an order for a wedding cake being refused solely on the basis of a business owner’s personal beliefs hurts us as individuals and baffles us as a company.
We’re a bakery; we’re in the business of helping people celebrate their happiest moments: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings. We find it reprehensible to strip someone of that joy over personal contentions which should play no part in running an American business; but we also acknowledge that this sentiment must apply to both sides of the argument. We would be hypocrites to deny someone service because we do not agree with him – that is the precise dynamic we’re fighting against.
The only notion we could contrive that would honor both the integrity of our business practice and our moral obligation was to take the money from sales that go against our conscience and put it toward something positive, toward something that strives to enlighten and raise awareness, so that through education we will hopefully one day eradicate the fear that divides us.
We want to thank those who have taken the time to reach out to us to show their support for this decision: it means so very much to us. We hope that the community will understand that this was the best solution we could find, and that we will be forgiven if we have fallen short of the ideal. We’re far from being social advocacy experts . . . We’re really more like sugar experts :)
Original Post Below
In recent weeks Enchanting Creations has received a series of inquiries seeming to have stemmed from recent events in Indiana and Oregon, all of which begging the same basic question:
Will you make us an Anti-gay Cake?
Unfortunately, we haven’t been the only targets; the idea of “setting a trap” for small bakeries to catch them in the act of discrimination has become increasingly more common, and we feel it’s time to clarify our stance on this issue.
The fact of the matter is that we are an American business. As such, it is our responsibility to uphold the law and to refrain from discriminating against our customers, no matter how hurtful or personally offensive we might find their particular beliefs.
We believe that no one should ever be refused service – opposing discrimination by practicing it is not the answer. The only way to uphold our integrity as a company, and to maintain any hope of an eventual triumph over bigotry and discrimination is to act in accordance with this belief. We will not discriminate against potential customers, not even against those whose beliefs directly contradict our own – if the request is protected by the First Amendment we will honor it. This issue isn’t about approval; it’s about respect.
That said, so far these inquiries have amounted to nothing more than trolling; we have yet to receive a serious order. However, should the day come when an actual order is placed and paid for, we will not profit from discrimination.
Today we pledge that any profits we generate from the sale of a cake intended to discriminate against same-sex couples will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign, an organization who continues to fight for LGBT Equality.
We are extremely honored to be featured as an LGBT-Friendly vendor on both EnGAYgedWeddings.com and GayWeddings.com, and we will continue to proudly serve South Florida’s gay community. We sincerely hope that others will join us in finding ways to derive something positive from this ongoing negativity, because in the end we truly do believe that love conquers hate.