Sunday, February 12, 2017

Florida Judge Says Refusal To Sell Cake With Anti-Gay Message Is Not Religious Discrimination

A Florida Administrative Law Judge in a decision last week recommended to the Florida Commission on Human Relations that it find a Longwood, Florida bakery did not violate the state's public accommodation law when it effectively refused an order for a cake with the inscription "Homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord." Cut the Cake bakery, owned by a mother and daughter, quoted a caller a price of $5,850 for the cake after the bakery had been the subject of thousands of calls per week when a You-Tube video was posted of a previous call in which the bakery refused to make a cake displaying an anti-homosexual message. In Mannarino v. Cut the Cake Bakery, (FL Div. Admin. Hearings, Feb. 9, 2017), petitioner claimed that the refusal constituted religious discrimination against him as a Christian.  The judge ruled, however, that the bakery did not fall within the definition of "public accommodation" under Florida law since it does not sell food for consumption on the premises. Additionally he ruled that petitioner had not shown religious discrimination, saying:
Cut the Cake refused to fulfill Petitioner’s order, not because he was Christian, but because of what it perceived to be the purpose of his message. Cut the Cake considered Petitioner’s message mean-spirited, regardless of his religion or the Quote’s source.
St. Augustine Record reports on the decision.