INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An Indiana bakery that came under fire last year when it declined to bake a cake for a same-sex ceremony has closed its doors—but not for the reason most would think.
The situation began last March when Mike Stephens contacted the 111 Cakery in Indianapolis to obtain a cake for his commitment ceremony with his partner Shane Laney.
But as the owners, Randy and Trish McGath, are Christians, they informed Stephens that they could not fulfill his particular order, but would be happy to serve him in any other way.
“[The owner] said, ‘We don’t do that. If I can help you with anything else, but we don’t discriminate.’ That was the end of it,” Stephens recalled to Fox59. “It’s disappointing.”
However, the McGaths explained to reporters that decorating a cake requires personal involvement in creating the particular message that is to be expressed on the cake—whether artistically or with literal words.
“As artists, we have to find inspiration to create something special for our clients,” Mr. McGath stated. “When asked to do a cake for an occasion or with a theme that’s in opposition with our faith? It’s just hard for us. We struggle with that.”
He stated that his bakery has a policy about certain types of themed cakes that they can cannot fulfill, including cakes that would feature images pertaining to alcohol, drugs or violence. McGath also explained that he was well aware when he opened the bakery that it was in an area known as the “gayborhood,” and has served many customers who identify as homosexual since 111 Cakery’s 2012 opening.
“There is zero hate here,” he stated. “This causes us to do a lot of soul searching. Why are we doing what we do? We want to show the love of Christ. We want to be right with our God, but we also want to show kindness and respect to other people.”
McGath said that he and his wife “just didn’t want to be party to a commitment ceremony” because it was in essence “a commitment to sin.”
But word of the incident was soon broadcast by a local television station, and was subsequently spread on social media. One man picketed the bakery and called for a boycott of 111 Cakery.
However, others who learned of the matter decided to show their support for the McGaths. They drove from sometimes over 50 miles away to place an order, and sales began to spike. According to USA Today, the boom in business lasted for three to four months.
Recently, Mrs. McGath decided that she wanted to call it quits with the bakery as the workload was “wearing her out,” and she wanted to have more time to spend with her grandchildren. The couple closed their doors on Dec. 31 and Mr. McGath found other means of work.
“We have decided not to renew our lease so we are now closed,” the business website reads. “We want to thank everyone for your patronage, support and friendship. It has been a true pleasure to serve you. Eph 2:8.”
The McGaths, who attend a Baptist church, reiterated to reporters this week that talks about the matter remained respectful even in the midst of opposition.
“We were just trying to be right with our God,” Mr. McGath stated. “I was able to speak to many homosexuals in the community and to speak our opinion and have a civil conversation. I’m still in touch with some.”