An Indiana bakery, 111 Cakery, that drew protests last year after the business' Christian owners declined a request from a gay man to make a cake for his same-sex wedding, has decided to close shop for good.
"We have decided not to renew our lease so we are now closed. We want to thank everyone for your patronage, support and friendship. It has been a true pleasure to serve you. Eph 2:8," notes a message on the bakery's website.
Randy McGath, 48, who co-own's the bakery, told USA Today that the business was still profitable but his wife, Trish, 45, who did most of the baking, wanted to spend more time with their four grandchildren.
He said that the bakery went out of business on Dec. 31 and it was "wearing her out."
The Christian Post reached out to the business on Monday for further comment but did not receive a response.
A firestorm of protests ensued last March after the McGaths' cited their faith for refusing the cake request for the same-sex wedding.
"As Christians, we have a sincere love for people. As artists, we must find the inspiration to create something special for our clients. When asked to do a cake for an occasion or with a theme (alcohol explicit in nature) that is in opposition to our faith, that inspiration is not found. We feel that it is important for a paying customer to know when this is the case. Why would you want a cake that is less than inspired for your special event. That is why this week we told a man that requested a cake for a same-sex ceremony that it was against our policy, but we would be happy to help him with anything else," the Christian bakers wrote in a statement about the incident on Facebook.
"It was not that we wanted to deny them a cake, it's just tough to create something that goes against your beliefs. Was this the right thing to say? Maybe not, but this phone call caused us to do a lot of soul searching because we want to be right with our God as well as respect others. We have not heard from this man but would welcome a chance to meet with him. We sincerely wish them the best," the statement continued.
The rejection by the couple snowballed into a controversial talking point in local and national media after that statement, which attracted much support from conservatives as well as detractors, particularly since the bakery was located in a neighborhood in Indianapolis that had been considered a hub of gay culture for decades, according to USA Today.
The couple who attend a Baptist church said they were aware of the neighborhood's gay culture when they opened the bakery in 2012, but "just didn't want to be party to a commitment ceremony" because such an event reflected "a commitment to sin."
"There was zero hate here," McGath, who is now selling recreational vehicles, told USA Today. "We were just trying to be right with our God. I was able to speak to many homosexuals in the community and to speak our opinion and have a civil conversation. I'm still in touch with some."