Childress said that she baked five sample cakes for the couple to try before discovering that they were homosexual partners. “She introduced herself, and I said, ‘Is this your sister?’” Childress recalled of an encounter with one of the women. “She said, ‘No. This is my partner.’ ”
When Childress realized that the cake was meant for a same-sex “wedding” celebration, she graciously told the women she would not be able to serve them, citing her Christian faith. “I was straight-forward with them and explained that I’m a Christian and that I have very strong convictions,” she told FOX. “I chose to be honest about it. They said they appreciated it and left. That was all that was said.”
However, instead of dropping the matter, the two women apparently alerted their homosexual activist network, which quickly organized a boycott of Childress’ business. The conflict also attracted the attention of Des Moines television station KCCI, which gave Trina Vodraska a platform to voice her anger at being snubbed by Childress. “It was degrading,” she told the television station. “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.”
In a statement posted on the KCCI website, the lesbian pair claimed that raising awareness of the need for “equality” was their only goal in targeting Childress with attention for her refusal to serve them. They insisted that “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.”
Nonetheless, the pair said they are mulling possible legal action against the principled baker. In 2007 Iowa’s civil rights laws were expanded to ban discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation, with religious exemptions allowed only for qualified institutions such as churches or schools. This may possibly leave Childress exposed to being cited for discriminating against the lesbians.
The Christian baker emphasized that her decision to deny service to the homosexual couple had nothing to do with discrimination. “It doesn’t have anything to do with them,” she told FOX. “It was about my convictions. They can get their cake anywhere.” She added that she was being targeted “because of my beliefs — my convictions to their lifestyle.”
Support for the lesbian couple has come largely in the form of hateful e-mails sent to Childress — so many and so disturbing that she stopped reading them. “It’s really hard to read things like that,” Childress said. “I’m a pretty quiet, soft-spoken person. But when I stand up for my convictions against things, I’m very strong….”
She told FOX, however, that she has also receive plenty of positive feedback, including support from local businesses glad that someone is standing up to bullying by homosexuals. “People are telling me they were proud of me for standing up for my beliefs because not many people do that these days,” she said. “Business people are afraid to because they’re afraid to lose money.”
Naturally, the local media found some Des Moines area bakers who were willing to castigate Childress for drawing a moral line in the sand. Amanda Laurich, owner of the Three Chick Bakery, told KCCI that Childress’ moral convictions have no place in her business decisions. “It is a business,” Laurich said. “It’s about the people. It’s about making the people happy too.” She added that “I have a lot of gay friends and gay family members. If any of them wanted to get married, I wouldn’t want them to go through the stress or feeling disappointed and having that take away from the thing that should be really special for their day.”
Cynthia Hendrickson, co-owner of the Devilish Pig Bakery, argued that Christian shouldn’t be judgmental of others. “As Christians, we are supposed to be unselfish, and do things for the greatest good of mankind, and not pass judgment,” she offered.
LifeSiteNews.com noted that “Christian businesses in America, including reception site owners and photographers declining to service homosexual couples, have routinely been targeted for lawsuits and harassment in states that have legalized same-sex ‘marriage’ or civil unions. Often the complaints spread through media, particularly gay blogs, where gay rights supporters are encouraged to keep up pressure on the offenders.”
In an editorial on the incident the Family Research Council said that most Americans “don’t seem to understand that religious freedom and same-sex ‘marriage’ can never coexist. Why? Because the Left’s definition of ‘tolerance’ is surrender. And until more people like Victoria dig in their heels and refuse, homosexual activists will continue to bully anyone who disagrees with them.”