Normally when you hear about bakeries as the subjects of discrimination lawsuits, it’s because a conservative Christian baker wouldn’t bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
In this case, a man says that a bakery discriminated against his religious beliefs because they wouldn’t bake a cake reading “God hates gays” and with a drawing of an “X” over two men holding hands.
Azucar Bakery owner Marjorie Silva says she wasn’t discriminating against the customer, but against the product; she offered to sell him a plain cake and the supplies to decorate it himself. But Bill Jack, a Christian, says he was discriminated against for his religious beliefs.
On the other side of the courtroom in both past cases — Masterpiece Cakeshop and Arlene’s Flowers — the American Civil Liberties Union represented the customers. Now the ACLU, which is also not directly involved in this newest case, supports the baker’s right to refuse service.
“Folks are trying to compare the Azucar Bakery story to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case… but in fact the two situations are quite different,” ACLU staff attorney Amanda Goad said in an email to BuzzFeed News.
The baker refusing service, she said, is “based on a neutral standard of taste that she would apply to any customer,” and is different from barring customers “not because of what the desired cake looked like, but because of who they are.”
Goad noted that the baker was willing to make a cake shaped like a Bible and said the case “shouldn’t lead anyone to support a law that would allow businesses to discriminate against gay customers.”
Rumor has it that Jack and some of his pals are going to be bakery-hopping, demanding blatantly homophobic cakes from assorted bakeries, and then filing religious discrimination lawsuits against them if they say no. Be prepared.