John M. Becker

Wedding Cake Wars: Oregon Edition

Filed By John M. Becker | May 15, 2013 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Christianists, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, Oregon, religious exemptions, same-sex marriage, special rights, theocrats, weddings

pam.jpgYet another small business owner is going to the barricades and claiming that her private religious beliefs grant her the "liberty" to illegally discriminate against same-sex couples in the public marketplace.

Perhaps taking a cute from Sweet Cakes Bakery in Gresham, Oregon or Arlene's Flowers in Richmond, Washington, Pam Regentin -- owner of Fleur Cakes in Mount Hood, Oregon (Facebook page here) -- refused to do business with Erin Hanson and Katie Pugh, a same-sex couple, on the basis of their sexual orientation.

From KOMO News:

"I found a gal who was making gorgeous cakes," said Pugh. "I contacted her and we set up a time to do a tasting."

It was the perfect baker in the perfect spot - Fleur Cakes owned by Pam Regentin - just down the road from the wedding.

The ladies scheduled a tasting.

"I mentioned Erin in passing, and said a 'she' in passing too, in the email. A few days later she called back and that was today. And called and verified it was a same-sex wedding," Pugh said.

And that's when Fleur Cakes said it wouldn't bake the cake.

Pugh told KATU News reporter Dan Cassuto that she specifically asked Regentin, "Just to be clear, are you not making a cake for us because we're a same-sex couple?" Regentin responded in the affirmative.

While Oregon currently does not allow same-sex couples to marry, it is illegal under state statute to refuse service to customers on the basis of sexual orientation, regardless of whether it's for a legal wedding, a commitment ceremony, or anything else. The law says that any business offering public accommodations must give "full and equal accommodations without any distinction on account of race, color, religion, sex, or sexual orientation."

When Cassuto asked Regentin whether she's aware that her discriminatory refusal is a violation of state law, she replied, "I believe I have the liberty to live by my principles."

Memo to Pam Regentin and Christianists everywhere: Actually, you don't. If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: your religious beliefs do not entitle you to a special exemption from the law, nor do your "principles" give you the "liberty" to pick and choose which members of the public to serve or which laws you wish to obey.

So stop the privilege tantrums. As private individuals, you can believe whatever bigoted garbage you want in the privacy of your own heart and your own home. You can even pass that toxic hatred along to your children if you so choose. But if you choose to enter the public square, you have to play by the same rules as the rest of us.

The LGBT community isn't going anywhere, and we're going to keep shaming and suing anti-gay business owners until they understand that they have to treat us and our families exactly the same as they would anyone else.

Watch KOMO News's report:


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