By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com August 14 2014 4:42 PM ET
A lesbian couple in Schuylkill Haven, Pa., are feeling sour after a local bakery refused to bake a cake for the couple's renewal of their wedding vows, citing a religious opposition to same-sex marriage.
Jennifer and Bethany Petrich told local news outlet WFMZ TV that they were hoping to support the Cake Pros, a business in the couple's suburban neighborhood.
"I loved the work they did and it tasted great. It's a hometown bakery. I wanted to support my hometown," Jennifer told WFMZ. "My mom, who is planning our wedding, called and made the appointment for us. It was OK at that time and she was open and honest and said it's for Bethany and Jennifer."
But shortly after placing the order, Jennifer's mother got another phone call informing the family that the Cake Pros was "a Christian bakery and the owner had talked to Jesus for two weeks," Jennifer said, "and that because it was two females getting married she couldn't make our cake."
The bakery's owner is standing by her denial of service — which is legal in Pennsylvania, as the state's nondiscrimination law does not extend to LGBT people. Last month, a wedding venue in Scranton, Pa., refused to allow a lesbian couple to hold their wedding ceremony at the venue, flatly telling the women the facility does "not host same-sex marriages."
Pennsylvania was the last state in the northeastern U.S. to embrace marriage equality, with the first legal same-sex weddings taking place in May after the state's Republican governor declined to appeal a ruling from a federal judge striking down the state's anti-marriage equality laws.
"It was hard to do," Cake Pros owner Lorraine Fleming told WFMZ. "We have homosexuality in our family and it was a hard decision to make, but in the end, when I die, and I'm one-on-one with God, I have to stand true to him."
Fleming says the backlash has been strong since the couple took their story to the media, prompting her to remove the shop's page from Facebook.
Watch WFMZ's report below.