A Christian woman from Iowa may face legal action for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple due to her religious beliefs.
Victoria Childress, who runs a bakery called “Victoria’s Cake Cottage” from her home in Des Moines, told Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers that she was unable to make them a wedding cake because of her Christian convictions when they came to her shop for an appointment.
She had baked five cakes for the women to taste prior to knowing about their relationship. When both came in for the tasting, she asked one of them, “Is this your sister?” to which one answered, “No. This is my partner,” Fox News reported.
Childress responded by telling the couple she was unwilling to make their cake, telling them about her convictions as a Christian.
“I didn’t do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right as a business owner. It is my right, and it’s not to discriminate against them,” Childress told KCCI 8 Des Moines. “It’s not so much to do with them, as it’s to do with me, and my walk with God and what I will answer Him for.”
“They thanked me for being honest with them,” she shared. “They were very pleasant. I did not belittle them, I did not speak rudely to them. There were no condescending remarks made, nothing.”
Though the couple initially appeared understanding, they later released a statement calling the baker a “bigot.”
Vodraska also told KCCI that the situation was “degrading.”
“It was like she chastised us for wanting to do business with her. I know Jesus loves me. I didn’t need her to tell me that. I didn’t go there for that. I just wanted to go there for a cake.”
Contrary to their remarks, however, they shared in their statement, “Awareness of equality was our only goal in bringing this to light, it is not about cake or someone’s right to refuse service to a customer. We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received and hope that by stepping forward we have prevented someone else from experiencing the same type of bigotry.”
The couple was unsure whether they would file a civil rights complaint with the state. The Iowa Civil Rights Act, amended in 2007, prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in areas of employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and education. Same-sex marriage was also made legal in Iowa in 2009.
In response to the incident, Childress has been flooded with hate mail, which she stopped reading.
“I’m being attacked because of my beliefs – my convictions to their lifestyle,” Fox quoted Childress.
“I’m a pretty quiet, soft-spoken person. But when I stand up for my convictions against things, I’m very strong when it comes to that.”
Childress, despite all of the criticism, has also garnered some support for her decision. “People are telling me they were proud of me for standing up for my beliefs because not many people do that these days. Business people are afraid to because they’re afraid to lose money.”
Though some have launched a boycott against Victoria’s Cake Cottage on Facebook, others are asking what they could do to support Childress’ business and her decisions.