A bakery in Louisiana refused to bake a birthday cake featuring the words “Trump 2016,” prompting questions as to whether the business will be fined in a similar vein to how Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a cake shop in Oregon, was forced to shut down after its owners refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding.
“Just left Albertsons. The woman behind the cake counter just refused to make me a birthday cake because I wanted “Trump 2016″ on it…. Did that really just happen?” a Facebook post by McKenzie Gill read.
The cake was for Gill’s 18th birthday party, a Trump-themed event to celebrate her excitement over this year’s presidential election.
“I was just venting on Facebook when I made the status that I made, I didn’t think I was going to get as much attention as it did,” the teenagertold KLSA.
When Gill and her Mom asked Albertson’s on East Texas Street in Bossier City for the Trump cake, the woman behind the counter made a face and refused them service before the Gills notified store officials.
A spokesman for Albertson’s subsequently blamed the whole issue on the individual employee.
“We apologize to our customer in Bossier City for the situation regarding the cake that was requested. Our Bakery staff member misunderstood the training provided regarding copyrighted phrases, and incorrectly informed the customer we could not fulfill her request. We would be happy to provide the cake as the customer requested,” said Connie Yeates.
The issue of whether businesses have a right to refuse service based on ideological grounds has been a flashpoint since Sweet Cakes by Melissa was hit with a $135,000 fine by an Oregon judge in April 2015 for refusing to bake a gay wedding cake for a lesbian couple and was subsequently forced to close its doors after a vitriolic backlash spearheaded by armies of offended social media users.
The bakery was found to have violated the Oregon Equality Act.
The lesbian couple later claimed they had suffered 88 separate symptoms of mental anguish that left them feeling “mentally raped,” including “surprise,” being “stunned,” experiencing a “dislike of going to work,” and that one or both of them had resumed smoking.
The bakery later raised over $100,000 dollars but their campaign was shut down by GoFundMe. After contesting the judge’s decision for six months, co-owner Aaron Klein paid the final order with interest but vowed to continue to fight the ruling.
Of course, the bakery that refused to bake the Trump cake is unlikely to face a fraction of the angry backlash endured by the Kleins, which included someone breaking into their company van and scrawling the word “bigot” on the side.
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