It seems that the LGBT(plus the other letters, I forget what they are, sorry about it) community and the world of commercial baking are destined to be at odds for all eternity. You sort of imagine that the real-world examples of intolerable intolerance should take place in some kind of grand setting, somewhere with gravitas – like on the steps of a cathedral or a courthouse. It’s almost laughable that the battles we continue to fight actually take place in bakeries – which, if I can indulge in some outdated stereotyping for a moment, are surely some of the gayest businesses around what with all the frothy pink frosting and edible glitter flying around.
There was the Bert & Ernie Nothern Ireland incident, there’s been a smattering of cake refusals across the states in Texas and Colorado, and now the latest is from Ohio, where a woman has been told that the bakery can’t make the birthday cake she wanted because the cake happened to be to celebrate the birthday of her wife. To make it even more heartbreakingly hilarious, the bakery owner did it all over text, and even threw in a smiley as well – to be expected I suppose in 2016, perhaps she could have added a few emojis too, a monkey not baking a cake perhaps, or a pile of poo with googley eyes being flung at a gay couple? And why not a gif as well! We love gifs. A character from a reality show making that “sorry but I’m not sorry” awkward face would have been perfect. Anyway, here is the text:
If you read that and your mouth isn’t now hanging open in a “what the hell?!” kind of fashion then you need to re-read the text until it is. This is atrocious. It’s abominable. It’s despicable and every other words that means downright nasty.
It’s the apology that gets me. They’re so sorry? As though somebody is forcing their hand when they’re making the choice all on their own. And that smiley…….don’t get me started.
The reason why this is so dangerous is because although we’re protected higher up the chain (it’s not illegal, we can get married, we can’t be refused work etc), we don’t live up there. We live down here, on the street, in the bakery. We spend our lives doing all those banal things that “normal” (good god I hate that word) heterosexuals do too. Yes folks, gays are actually real people! We go to the supermarket, we go to the cinema, we exercise (sometimes), we go to the garden centre on a Sunday and we eat cake, sometimes special bakery made cake. If those little normalities are allowed to be stamped on without remonstration and/or correction then we’re not fully enjoying an equal life. The big triumphs like marriage start to seem a little bit hollow, a bit less real. This kind of casual discrimination cannot be ignored. We must, together, challenge it wherever we find it.
And to those who say that everyone is entitled to an opinion, I say this: you’re wrong. Some opinions are so rotten, so shameful that yes the person can have them but they shouldn’t ever, ever even have the lightest feathery touch on society. And I don’t care about religious freedom – religion has far, far too long been used as a weak excuse to excuse homophobia. You want to discriminate against me on the basis of stories that have little more weight than Goldilocks? Try. I studied Theology and I’ll tear your faith a new one.