Ben Valencia and his fiancé Luis Marmolejo were disheartened last week when a bakery in Longview, Texas refused to bake a cake for their wedding in March. When the co-owner of Kerns Bakery, Edie Delorme, learned that the cake was for a same-sex couple, she refused to work with them. Delorme and her husband cited their Christian faith as the reason behind the refusal.
“When they said [the cake was for] them, I said, ‘Sorry. We don’t provide cakes for homosexual marriages,’” Delorme told The Longview News-Journal. “It’s not against people or what they choose to be part of.”
Valencia and his fiancé ended up taking their business elsewhere. “I wasn’t really mad,” Valencia told Kilgore News Herald, “I was just more disheartened and sad about it. I don’t judge people, and I guess I kind of expect not to be judged in return. But I can’t control how other people think or how other people act, so you can’t force somebody to like you or be your friend."
Delorme argued that she would understand if the roles were reversed and she was refused service for being heterosexual. “If I went to a baker, a homosexual baker, and they didn't want to provide a cake for an event that maybe celebrated marriage between a man and a woman," she said, "[it] would be OK for them to say, 'That's not in line with our values.'"
FYI: Texas currently does not have a statewide discrimination ban based on sexual orientation.
"It just kind of makes you feel dehumanized," Valencia said. "People shouldn't have to worry about going into a business, especially a public business that serves the public, and have to worry about being turned away for something, for who you are."
Although the couple wasn’t given a cake by Kerns, they still plan on getting married on March 27 with another cake provided by a Mama Tee’s Cakes and Catering in White Oak, Texas. The owner Tee Allen shares a different view on the matter than Delorme.
“I don’t care if you’re pink, purple, polka-dotted, gay or straight," she said. "If you want me to make you a cake, I’m going to make you a cake."
Furthermore, Allen promised the men “the best cake I’ve ever made.”