Who would have known that bakeries would become the battlegrounds of marriage equality? After declining to make a cake reading, "We Do Not Support Gay Marriage," Casselberry, Florida bakery Cut the Cake is receiving threats. If that sounds familiar, it's probably because it's the inverse of Indiana's Memories Pizza, a pizzeria that recently came under criticism for its refusal to cater a gay wedding. And if that sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Asher Baking Company, the Irish bakery that faced legal action rather than making a gay rights cake. Yeesh. Clearly the cake decorating business is more politically fraught than anyone ever could have imagined.
This particular kerfuffle owes its existence to Joshua Feuerstein, former TV evangelist and walking caricature of sleazy religious leaders, Jezebel reports. Like many people, he had feelings about Indiana's backwards and discriminatory anti-LGBT Religious Freedom Act, which inexplicably managed to become law on March 16. His feelings, however, leaned a little on the homophobic side, i.e., he filmed himself calling up Cut the Cake and asking for a cake with a homophobic message, just to prove a point about why he supports religious freedom bills.
At first the bakery owner thought it was an April Fools' joke, but when Feuerstein persisted, she said she wouldn't make a cake with that message and hung up on him, Orlando Weekly reports. His totally appropriate and rational response, because he has shown himself to be a reasonable and intelligent man, was to put the video on Facebook, clearly state the name of the bakery as well as the owner, and ask viewers to "ask the same exact questions" in order to "show the hypocrisy" of the bakery. What this imagined hypocrisy stems from is unclear, but the outcome of the video isn't: his followers have launched a campaign of harassment against Cut the Cake.
This probably would have blown over quickly if not for the fact that Feuerstein has more than a million followers on Facebook. People have been calling the bakery nonstop, leaving threats and various hateful messages about it online, and taking up so much of the owner's time that she has had to start a GoFundMe to make up for lost revenue (again, because the hate callers are so numerous that her business literally can't take cake orders), and file a police report. The harassment has become so vitriolic that police have taken to keeping an eye on the business.
Feuerstein has taken the video down, but he has in no way apologized for putting a random bakery in this position. In fact, he seems to be enjoying the attention. "NATIONAL NEWS!! THE JOSHUA FEUERSTEIN CAKE CONTROVERSY!! GOOGLE IT," he recently wrote on his Facebook page, along with a post reading "Fox News is at my house... :)."
Cut the Cake's owner, however, is having a far less enjoyable time. "We are afraid they are going to, you know, act on it," she told WFTV. “We don't know what to expect."
Practically forcing a bakery out of business, whipping hundreds of thousands of people into a frenzy of hatred, and enjoying the media spotlight? All in a day's work for Feuerstein. Just like Jesus would have wanted!