In January, co-owner Aaron Klein had denied a request to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. “The Bible tells us to flee from sin,” his wife and business namesake, Melissa Klein told a Fox News columnist recently. “I don’t think making a cake for it helps. Protests, boycotts, and a storm of media attention—much of it negative—ensued. The couple received death threats. Then, activists broadened the boycott: any wedding vendor that did business with Sweet Cakes would be targeted.
The final nail in the coffin came in August when the slighted lesbian couple filed an anti-discrimination suit with the state. “The LGBT attacks are the reason we are shutting down the shop. They have killed our business through mob tactics,” Klein said. His wife added: “I guess in my mind I thought we lived in a lot nicer of a world where everybody tolerated everybody.”Share
Christian Wedding Vendors Under Attack
In 2006, a noted advocate for traditional marriage, Maggie Gallagher, warned that the legalization of same-sex marriage would lead to constraints on religious freedom. Writing in the Weekly Standard, Gallagher saw the end of adoptions services by Boston Catholic Charities as a foreshadowing of things to come. (To retain its license, Gallagher explained, the agency would have to abide by the state’s anti-discrimination law, which had been extended to married same-sex couples.) She couched her warning in the form of a question:
This March, then, unexpectedly, a mere two years after the introduction of gay marriage in America, a number of latent concerns about the impact of this innovation on religious freedom ceased to be theoretical. How could Adam and Steve’s marriage possibly hurt anyone else? When religious-right leaders prophesy negative consequences from gay marriage, they are often seen as overwrought. The First Amendment, we are told, will protect religious groups from persecution for their views about marriage. So who is right? Is the fate of Catholic Charities of Boston an aberration or a sign of things to come?Seven years later, we have the answer: as of this writing, there have been at least 11 instances of wedding vendors and venues facing some form of recrimination—threats, boycotts, protests, and the intervention of state or judicial authorities—because they denied services for gay nuptials because of their faith. (Read more.)