A local ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation has prompted the city of Indianapolis to launch an investigation against a bake shop for refusing to fill an order from a gay-rights group.
The city is investigating whether the owner of “Just Cookies” engaged in discrimination last week when he cited moral objections to homosexuality as his reason for declining a customer’s request to provide rainbow-iced cookies for a “National Coming Out Day” event at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Because the bakery operates within the city-owned Indianapolis City Market, the city may have the right to penalize the business, which could include receiving a fine or facing eviction.
Heather Browning, a coordinator for social justice education in the Office of Student Involvement at IUPUI, said when she called to place the order, and explained the nature of the celebration, “the gentleman told me that it was against their morals and values to do so, and then hung up on me.”
David Stockton, who owns Just Cookies with his wife Lily, said Wednesday that he told a caller to the bakery that he did not feel comfortable preparing a special order for a group that endorsed homosexual activity, and that he wanted to set what he believes is the right example for his two “impressionable young daughters.”
But Lily Stockton, in an interview on HLN, back peddled, saying the bakery didn’t have “enough colors” as the reason for refusing the order.
According to Wayne Schmidt, president of the City Market Board, there could be grounds for taking away their stand in the market. “I’d hate to lose them, but we can’t tolerate any kind of discrimination like that.”