DES MOINES, Iowa — A lesbian couple in Iowa — where gay marriage is legal — was caught off guard when the baker they approached for their wedding cake told them that she is Christian, and because of her convictions couldn’t bake their cake.
Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers said they traveled from their home in Central Iowa to Victoria’s Cake Cottage in Des Moines, to meet with owner Victoria Childress for a cake testing appointment, reported KCCI-TV.
“They came in and she introduced herself, and I said, ‘Is this your sister?’ (She said,) ‘No, this is my partner.’ I said, ‘OK,’ and I asked them to sit down and I said, ‘We need to talk,'” said Childress, who runs her cake baking business from home.
“I said, ‘I’ll tell you, I’m a Christian, and I do have convictions.’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry to tell you, but I’m not going to be able to do your cake.”
I didn’t do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right as a business owner. It is my right, and it’s not to discriminate against them. It’s not so much to do with them, it’s to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer to him for.”
Vodraska said she felt the baker’s response “was degrading.”
“It was like she chastised us for wanting to do business with her,” Vodraska said. “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.”
Amanda Laurich, another local baker who owns and operates Three Chicks Bakery out of her Polk City home, told the station she believes the business shouldn’t be a gay or straight issue.
KCCI contacted the same-sex couple, but neither woman wanted to talk on camera.
A statement from the couple said, in part, “Awareness of equality was our only goal in bringing this to light, 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.”
Childress said it’s her right as a business owner to deny anyone service and that she wasn’t discriminating.