Florida bakery did right by refusing to bake a hateful cake
A judge has thrown out a case brought against a bakery by Robert Mannarino, above.
Mannarino, described here as “a US marine”, alleged that he was religiously discriminated against by Cut the Cake because the company refused his request for a cake bearing the words:
Homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord.
During a hearing presided over by Administrative Law Judge J Bruce Culpepper, Mannarino maintained that he was a devout Christian and “reads the Bible often”.
But, the judge noted, Mannarino was “unable to provide another biblical verse from memory” when pressed to do so.
Culpepper noted that Mannarino’s claim that he is a Christian “has several weaknesses” because he does not regularly attend church or belong to a specific denomination. And Mannarino “displayed questionable knowledge about the Bible,” including the quote at the heart of the dispute.
Mannarino “emphatically declared” that the quote was “a direct quote” from the Bible” but the judge said it was not.
Presented no direct or statistical evidence of religious discrimination. Petitioner did not offer evidence or elicit testimony that Cut the Cake refused to provide him a baked good specifically because he was a Christian. (In fact, all Cut the Cake did was quote a price for the cake, then hang up the phone without completing his order).
The bakery owners – Sharon Haller and her daughter, Cyndol Knarr – testified that they are Christians and frequently make cakes with religious themes and biblical inscriptions but they ignored Mannarino’s request because of the “mean” and “ugly” message he wanted on the cake.
Believing Mannarino’s request for a cake to be a prank, Knarr sarcastically quoted a price of $150 per letter, bringing the cost of the confection to nearly $6,000. She hung up when Mannarino told her he was recording the call.
The bakery owners’ objections to Mannarino’s phrase had nothing to do with same-sex marriage, Knarr said.
Why would people want something so hateful on a cake in the first place? If someone asked us to write something else that was hateful on a cake, we wouldn’t.
Culpepper’s order in favour of Cut the Cake comes nearly two years after the Central Florida bakery was targeted by Arizona evangelist Joshua Feuerstein, above for refusing to make a cake decorated with the words:
We do not support gay marriage.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn