Wilamette Week conducted an informal experiment with two bakeries that have refused to provide cakes for same-sex marriage celebrations:
The first incident, in February, involved Gresham’s Sweet Cakes by Melissa, whose owner told a lesbian couple that “we don’t do same-sex marriages.” Earlier this month, Pam Regentin, who operates Fleur Cakes out of her home in the Hood River area, also refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding.
Both bakeries cited their religious beliefs as the reason they would not make the cakes. Both describe themselves as Christian.
“I believe I have the liberty to live by my principles,” Regentin told KATU in a May 15 newscast.
Reporters tested the limits of the bakers' religious principals by calling to order cakes for various events that would be frowned upon or even deemed outright evil by conventional conservative Christians. Here's a sample of what they found:
WW Asks - I was calling to get a quote on a cake for a midsummer solstice party. My coven is celebrating on Friday, June 21. The decoration would be very simple: just a green pentagram. We’d like to pick it up sometime that afternoon, before the bonfire. It’ll be for about 30 people.
Sweet Cake says - “For 30 poeople we have a couple options... We have two kind of cakes you could have. About the diagram you want on the cake, I’m not sure how much extra that would be.”
Fleur says - Did not pick up phone or return messages. Acknowledged receiving requests by email but refused to comment.
The bakers were also willing to provide cakes for a party celebrating a human-cloning, stem-cell research grant, a baby shower for a woman having her second out-of-wedlock child with her boyfriend and a divorce party. While I could see rationalizing the latter two, the cloning should be strictly forbidden, according to their religious principles.
I don't have time to comment further right now, but I may return to this story because I find the psychological underpinnings of moral contradictions fascinating. The truth is that rational, consciously held principles are far from the only influence on our moral judgments.