A member of a right-wing Catholic organization ordered a cake with an antigay message from a lesbian-owned bakery.
David Gordon, a follower of Church Militant, commissioned a red velvet cake for $40 and a $10 tip from Good Cakes and Bakes in Detroit. He included a special "Pride" request in the online order that was anti-LGBTQ+.
"I am ordering this cake to celebrate and have PRIDE in true Christian marriage," Gordon stated, according to the Detroit Free Press. "I'd like you to write on the cake, in icing, 'Homosexual acts are gravely evil. (Catholic Catechism 2357).'"
Baker April Anderson, who operates Good Cakes and Bakes with her wife, Michelle, was shocked by the order but not particularly surprised. "We are so used to being Black lesbian women," Anderson told the Free Press. "You are used to people discriminating against you and saying mean things to you."
Anderson, concerned with a lawsuit, actually made the cake -- although she did not include the text as her business policy does not permit online requests for specialty messaging.
She and her wife also penned a letter against hate and attached it to the dessert. "We feel the only 'grave evil' is the judgement that good Christians, like yourself, impose on folks that don't meet their vision of what God wants them to be," the letter states.
When Gordon called to confirm the order, Anderson said it would be ready Saturday. "I think he was shocked," Anderson said. "He was probably anticipating us saying no."
Ultimately, Gordon never showed up to pick up the cake. It was tossed a few days later.
Church Militant was disavowed by the Archdiocese of Detroit and is not authorized to identify as a Catholic organization. Its founder, Michael Voris, said Gordon acted independently of the group.
Bakeries have emerged as a flashpoint in the LGBTQ+ movement, as the fight centers on whether refusing to bake cakes for same-sex weddings is an act of "religious freedom" or a "license to discriminate." The Supreme Court, in 2018's Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, sided with the antigay baker, 7-2, turning over a previous ruling by the commission as "the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion."
Gordon claimed to the Free Press that the bakers "never had any intention of serving me" and said his religious beliefs were violated. "Imagine the umbrage if a homosexual couple arrived at their 'wedding' reception to find a Christian baker had made them a 'straight' cake. This is about fairness, not ideology," he wrote.
However, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Jay Kaplan told the paper that Anderson was within her rights. "She wasn't turning the customer away," Kaplan said. "We provide cakes, but we are not going to put that kind of message on the cake. Especially if it's offensive."
Red velvet cake is a specialty at Good Cakes and Bakes, which was opened 2013 in Detroit's historic Avenue of Fashion district. Its famous fans include Oprah Winfrey.