Gay Protest of Christian Bakery Owner Falls Flat
A cake shop protest organized by local gay groups over the weekend turned out to be a flop, with barely a baker’s dozen worth of individuals showing up to the event. The protest was organized after it was reported that the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood refused to bake a “rainbow-layered masterpiece” celebrating a gay couple’s upcoming nuptials. The protest was anticipated to have a “massive” turnout.
After the gay couple described the cake that they wanted to order, bakery owner Jack Phillips told them that it was against his personal faith to supply cakes for gay weddings. He cited principles laid out in the Bible as his reasons for refusing their request. Phillips also made it clear that his store would never turn away anyone for being gay or lesbian and that he had no problem baking cakes for other events like birthday parties or graduations.
At the scheduled time of the protest on Saturday, approximately fourteen middle-aged men and women gathered across the street from the bakery with signs and balloons to protest the store. Standing with posters that read “Open Your Heart” and “Gays, Let Them Eat Cake,” the protest lasted for about an hour. Only five people had RSVP’ed to attend the protest on the event’s Facebook page.
In the weeks leading up to the protest, the owner of Masterpiece came under harsh criticism and other threatening posts on the various social media pages. For example, on one of the protest sites, a man named Thom Seehafter called for the use of a modified form of water-boarding to be used against the owners of the bakery.
“These business owners should have their heads held under water in a toilet,” he wrote.
Others resorted to name calling, referring to the owner as “ugly”, “anti-gay and anti-shower”, a “tool”, and claiming that he “looks like a pervert.” Some even called for “his human rights to be taken away.” Harassment techniques were also encouraged, with a plea sent around for everyone to “kick it up a notch” and to call the bakery to yell “shame on you” three times into the phone.
During the protest, a group of nearly fifty individuals, ranging from a two year old to a woman in her nineties, crowded around the store to buy cookies, cakes, and other pastries. When asked if they had planned and organized a rally in support of Masterpiece, several customers said they had heard of the planned protest on the news the night before and decided to visit the shop in order to thank the owner for his stance and quality products.
Joe, a fifteen year old, said he was there in support of the cake shop “as a young person” because “these guys have been making cakes for me and my family for years and they are some of the kindest people I know. They’re just great.”