POLL: Was Baker Right to Deny a Wedding Cake to a Lesbian Couple?

A Des Moines baker told a same-sex couple that she would not make their wedding cake because of her Christian convictions about gay marriage. Does she have that right?

Victoria Childress wasn't looking for controversy when she told a lesbian couple and potential customers that she wasn't going to bake their wedding cake.

She said she was just trying to be follow the tenets of her Christian faith: that homosexuality is a sin and marriage should be between a man and a woman.

The controversy over the Des Moines baker's decision not to serve same-sex couple, Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers, has been attracting a lot of attention and opinion on KCCI.com.

Vote whether you approve or disapprove of the baker's actions and add your two cents in our comment section.

The couple says they're not sure if they will file a discrimination complaint. Other metro area bakers told the television station they disapproved of Childress' decision. 

According to Beth Townsend, director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Iowa's law says than any business offering goods or services to the general public cannot turn customers away based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

John Konior, staff liaison to Urbandale's Civil Rights Commission, said the city has the same law as the state, but has not received any complaints about discrimination on sexual orientation.

People who feel they have been discriminated against may file complaints in their cities if the city has a civil rights law and commission. There are 24 Iowa cities with such boards, including Patch towns Ames, Cedar Falls, Iowa City, Urbandale, and West Des Moines.

View other Patch Polls on our topics page.

OldDaveNJ November 24, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Deb -- Is it a "basic American right" for someone to have to cook you an omelet?? If you're unsure, I'm sure I could dig up information on a number of court cases involving African Americans who were snubbed by Denny's Restaurants. As for who gets to decide -- in this case it was the people's representatives in the Iowa State General Assembly who decided that it is the right of people to be able to walk into places like shops and restaurants and expect service regardless of their race, gender, religion, country of origin, or sexual orientation.
Charles Davis November 26, 2011 at 04:00 PM
Old Dave, thank you for the link. After looking at the provisions, including "definitions" it appears that what this business did may have been illegal. Having said that, and having stated that I would have baked the cake for this couple, I still have to also repeat what I wrote below: "Lets say this cake baker was a busines owned by black people. Now lets say that a KKK group wanted the business to cater or bake cakes for a KKK ralley in town. If the black business person refused to do so, would we be having this discussion? Disclaimer: For goodness sakes I am not comparing gays to KKK members. I am only making a point that where do we find it acceptable for a private person to say NO I do not want to serve you."
Deb December 05, 2011 at 01:39 AM
The cake maker wasn't looking for controversy, but the two hatefilled lesbians were.
Saundra Ragona February 14, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I must agree with Jon, If she chooses to loose business, that should be her choice. The young couple can go to any number of bakeries that would be hap py to serve them. It's her loss.
CFBusinessOwner February 14, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Just curious: Does this same baker decline work from folks who are remarrying after a divorce? Or how about if they have a felony record? Or if they've ever taken the Lord's name in vain? I'm pretty sure all of the above are disapproved in the bible. As a private business owner she technically has the right to decline working for someone but if she does so on behalf of Christian beliefs then how does she decide which sin to focus on? She must spend a lot of time trying to figure out who she can work with...


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