Remember "Cupcakegate?" Just Cookies, an Indianapolis bakery, refused to serve a college LGBT group rainbow frosted cupcakes for National Coming Out Day and the city went into an uproar. The Mayor's office launched an investigation and the local news was all over the story and supportive of our community.
The city's probe found the bakery's actions failed to comply with the local human rights ordinance that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. The city and the bakery have reached an agreement on how to move forward.
[Just Cookies] has reached a settlement agreement with the City of Indianapolis whereby it agrees to abide by the terms of the City's human rights ordinance in the future as a condition to keeping its lease in City Market and posting a notice of the policy at its place of business. The City's human rights ordinance... requires businesses that do business with city and county agencies to have policies prohibiting discrimination on these bases [sic]. Indiana Equality, an organization that claims to support GLBT rights, angered members of its own community when it and two of its board members, City-County Councilor Jackie Nytes and former City-County Councilor Scott Keller, the original co-sponsors of the HRO, took the view the bakery did not violate the ordinance by refusing to sell rainbow-colored cupcakes to the organization and urged the community to drop its complaint against the business. Obviously, the city's office of corporation counsel viewed the matter differently.
The firestorm IE generated with this rivaled when they came out against ENDA and provided cover for Republicans and Blue Dog democrats to oppose the federal legislation. Democratic Congressmen Donnelly, Ellsworth, and Hill all cited IE's public opposition for ENDA at one point or another as their reason not to support the legislation. ENDA, which would provide equal employment opportunity for our entire community, could have passed this year if it had two or three more votes.
Their foolish position cost the LGBT community employment protections after they gave skittish Democrats a handy excuse for political homophobia. Sadly, the knee-jerk reactions and grabs for political relevancy have continued unabated.
Before publishing an op-ed in the Indy Star that supported discrimination and compared the LGBT community to the Aryan Nation, the group didn't solicit opinions from the Equal Opportunity Board sponsor, lead lobbyist, or even the lawyer who actually wrote the ordinance. As the HRO's lead lobbyist, I gave out papers with the IE logo on them that said the exact opposite of what they were saying in their op-ed.
According to several sources, IE issued the statement after being pressured by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels and several moderate Republican legislators.
People wonder why all the crazy nutjob anti-gay stories are coming out of Indiana virtually unchallenged and here's the only comparison I can offer. Close your eyes and imagine Gay Inc with the Log Cabin Republicans permeating everything queer like HRC attempts to do now.
You know things have gone to hell when a Tea Party mayor's administration offers more support to the LGBT community than the so-called gay rights group.