The answer is that for some people..... it *is* a big deal that I'm gay.
It's a big hairy, religious, political deal: for them.
For me.... it's just the way I am.
When Hail Mary and I are out there isn't *one time* that we don't get "the look" from someone while we're out together.... I'm not sure I know anyone who doesn't get the double take when they are out unless they are at a gay/lesbian event.
Usually no one say's anything.... it's just a look, a stare.... a glance that lasts long enough for them to be thinking.... "hey - those are two dykes and they have kids..... oooohhh... ahhh.... it's a gay family."
Or you know.... whatever they are thinking..... ("Please God make them stop being gay and ruining my family by existing...." hahahaha)
For lots of people this should be a nothing .... a non-event, but for the current voting majority of this country - it's a big enough deal to deny people like me equal rights. Even Macklemore was surprised "Same Love" did as well as it has - which I think is a strong reflection of the open hearts and minds of the upcoming generations.... but sadly, those who vote are still saying that love is *not* the same in many states.
Including my own *extremely* liberal state.
Which brings me to the Sweet Cakes fiasco. LOTS of people emailed me wanting to either know my thoughts about it - or ask if I'd seen the story - which.... I had - from day one.
So - Sweet Cakes by Melissa was a bakery in Oregon run by a husband and a wife. A very Christian husband and wife. At the time, the story was that two lesbians went into the shop to order a wedding cake and the husband told me then "No", said that he refused to be apart of an "abomination" and quote the Bible to them.
Now... that account has changed through different media outlets, but he stated from the start that he had moral and religious objections to gay marriage and did't want his business/cake to be apart of something he thinks is an "abomination."
The minute the story came out I put it up on Facebook.... I was stunned. *THIS* is not a state you want to do those kinds of things in.... really: it's not. I wrote that as a previous (retired) wedding vendor myself, I would NEVER EVER EVER refuse service to *anyone* for any reason other than my date was already booked.
As a photographer I did a few "gay" weddings (this was before they could even do a Domestic Partnership) - so they were little more than fancy parties with an exchange of vows and I *Still* did the best I could for their photography. I know that some couples were told no by other photographers.... which - and bear with me here - I can *almost* kind of understand.
When you are working with a man and a woman, it is *very* easy to pose them.... it comes naturally to those of us who do it ALL. THE. TIME. I did well over a hundred male/female weddings and I can pose you so that he looks strong and happy and you look thin and happy.... because THAT is what people want - girls wanna look thin, boys want to look 'manly' and everyone wants to look happy.
Done and done.
When I worked with two girls I was like..... where do I put all these boobs? lol
Visually, it's a different line.... and so I had to really think about poses that brought out their romance - even the hot and heavy side - without it looking.... too much? for wedding photos. I don't know if that makes sense.... but I had to make sure I could capture the sensual romance AND make everyone look thin and happy.... and I spent a good deal of time studying same-sex posing ideas online and I was *really* nervous about the wedding and *thrilled* when they were very happy with their images.
However.....I *CAN* appreciate that some photographers either can't wrap their brain around it - or they morally object to it.... NOW. Don't go freak out on me.
There is a MASSIVE difference baking a cake that someone takes out and puts on a table.
YOU don't have to be there.
YOU don't have to see the wedding.
YOU don't have to be AT the wedding.
YOU don't have to be present.... just the cake.
For a photographer, you not only have to be *present*, but you need to be COMFORTABLE with your subjects..... it would make *very* little sense for a same-sex couple to hire a photographer who was personally, morally or politically against their marriage. The subject has to *trust* the photographer - most of my couples have gone on to become great friends of mine.... their day is a bond for us.
I can see where a photographer who doesn't agree with same-sex marriage might have trouble doing a same sex wedding from an actual artistic point of view.
Having said that..... I don't actually know of *any* photographer who would/did turn down a same-sex wedding - and I would assume that if they did... they could kiss their business goodbye, which is what I posted on facebook when this story came out - that Sweet Cakes could (most likely) kiss their business goodbye.
Frankly.... I've seen vendors shut up their shops for doing lesser things that pissed off a bride.
So now the story has come out that Sweet Cakes has closed their location and are now going to work out of their home.... but - what surprises me is their allegations that the gay community took "mafia like" tactics to get them to close down.... yet, they don't define them or state what they are.
At the end of the day - I don't think there are *that* many brides in Portland who want to stand at their own cake table and announce that Sweet Cakes did their cake because it's *incredibly* likely that someone else within the wedding party or the guests will take offence at what Sweet Cakes have done and at the end of the day - weddings are about impressing people.... no one is going to be impressed by discrimination.
When my baby brother got married and I planned his ENTIRE DAY, I went after only THE FINEST wedding vendors in my area and I took GREAT PRIDE in getting his cake from a premier baker in Portland.
The dress, the cake, the DJ, the photographer... it's ALL about status..... brides want their friends to say to each other.... "did you see she had Holland Studios? They are THE BEST photographers in Portland!" or, "Did you know that her cupcakes came from Cupcake Jones? They are amazing....."
(Side Note: Eric @ Holland is AMAZING. Best photographer I know and he has worked dozens of same sex marriages..... and Lisa @ Cupcake Jones is also amazing and they do make THE BEST cupcakes on the planet. Period. So.... if you need either of those things... go there!)
No one... NO ONE - wants to spend $500 on a wedding cake and have people say..... "did you see her cake lady on TV.....? blah blah blah."
As a wedding vendor - who had a booth in the bridal show and ads in magazines and everything..... *I* can assure you that THAT is the only reason they saw their wedding clientele drop off.... not anyone's "mafia tactics".
Sweet Cakes closed because of bad business: their own.
The bakery had *no right* to refuse to sell a cake to anyone based on race, creed or sexual orientation. Period. It's the law. Duh.
When the sign came out - and it said, "Adulterers Need Not Apply" - I was QUICKLY informed by Oregon Real Estate Board that my sign was "illegal" and that I could NOT NOT NOT deny the sale of my home to ANYONE for any reason that could be seen as discrimination.
So, I actually had to change the sign online to reflect that I would sell the home to *anyone* with a reasonable offer. Period. Done. I wanted to sell my house... not get in trouble with anyone. lol
At the end of the day.... I don't actually *care* if you don't agree with how I live my life... I'm am TOTALLY FINE with people not wanting to be friends with me because of it... I will probably call you out on it... but I take NO ISSUE with anyone standing on their moral or religious convictions.
I really don't.
My only issue is that if someone feels strongly enough about their personal/religious beliefs that they unfriend me or deny someone the right to buy a cake... then they have to be willing to accept the social consequences of those actions.
Just the other day I heard from a friend who had been reading The Blog and she mentioned that she had actually heard from Never Enough *after* the thing happened and that they had run into Never Enough out socially. Nothing was said while they were face to face, but later Never Enough texted this person to say that she and I were no longer friends and that there were "plenty of reasons" for this - reasons that Never Enough said I knew..... and that it was NOT NOT NOT because I was "gay".
My friend replied back, "That may be the case, but based on your actions and your husbands letter - it seems to *me* that you aren't friends with her because she's gay..... "
Which surprised the hell out of me... honestly. My friends are just as bold and opinionated as I am - and I was surprised that that was their impression of the situation. I don't know if those two will be friends or not... and it's totally fine if they are.... but Never Enough never responded to that text... so I'm guessing not.
At the end of the day - what you do matters. People judge me ALL THE TIME for The Sign and The Book and The Blog... and I (now) keep doing it knowing the consequences.... (when it started I had no clue any of this would happen) - BUT.... by that same token, you don't get to refuse friendship and cake to people based on some moral authority just because *YOU* think God wants you to do that.
For the record, God always want you to:
Never Get a Tattoo:
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.Leviticus 19:28
Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the LORD.
Never Speak in a Church if you are a Woman:
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Never get a Haircut:
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads
So there you have it.... I didn't find any passages about denying queers friendship or cake... just for the record. :)