LONGVIEW, Texas — A Christian-identifying couple in Texas is receiving death threats after offering a referral to two homosexual men rather than being involved with their same-sex ceremony by making the cake for the reception.
According to reports, Ben Valencia and Luis Marmolejo went to Kern’s Bakery in Longview earlier this month with a photograph of what they wanted their wedding cake to look like.
“We just went in there to get a quote,” Valencia told the Longview News Journal, explaining that he and Marmolejo talked with co-owner Edie Delorme for some time without issue. “Then she says, ‘Who’s this for?’ We looked at each other.”
That’s when Delorme, who attends a Baptist church, explained that because of her faith, the bakery could not be involved with the event.
“It’s not against people or what they choose to be part of,” she told the men.
Delorme says that she offered to provide recommendations for other bakeries, but Valencia and Marmolejo just walked out.
The men then took to the media several days later, which in turn contacted the bakery about the alleged discrimination. Delorme said that she would understand if a business didn’t want association with a particular event, and noted that Kern’s Bakery has turned down cakes for other reasons.
“We don’t do alcohol-related cakes or risque [cakes],” she told reporters. “We’ve turned down cake for, ‘Can you make a giant Skoal can?’ … It’s not that we single out one [reason].”
Delorme said that she and her husband David have also discussed their apprehension about association with events that involve remarriage after divorce.
“We feel like if we are going to be putting our name on something, we want it to encourage godly values,” she stated.
After the matter went public, many lashed out at the Delormes, posting negative, vulgar and angry reviews on Yelp, such as “See you in Hell,” “Their cakes taste like [expletive]” and “They farted in my cupcakes.” But some posted positive reviews to show support.
“These bakers did NOT deny gays business because they were gay. They chose not to make a gay wedding cake. If a … homosexual came in and asked for a normal old birthday cake, they wouldn’t kick him out or deny him service,” one reviewer named John wrote. “So, sorry to deny your self-victimization pity party, but there is no discrimination happening here. None. At all.”
“Sorry for the vile response. The hate is thick with this crowd,” another named Mark wrote. “Keep the faith and keep making all the yummy baked goods! See you next time I come through town!”
Yelp says that it will be taking down some of the comments because they are not bona fide reviews of personal customer service.
Michael Berry, an attorney with First Liberty in Plano, told the Houston Chronicle that the Delormes have been receiving death threats as a result of the matter gong public.
“It’s a mom-and-pop shop, and when they start getting death threats there is something seriously wrong,” he stated. “It gets really ugly and unfortunate but that has a very real effect on the Delormes and their employees.”
“When they start to receive threats towards their family and their business simply because of their religious convictions, there’s something wrong with that picture,” Berry repeated to Fox’s Todd Starnes.