Unless you’re a member of the Tudor monarchy, weddings are usually a joyful occasion.
It can take you half a lifetime to meet your match after all, so it should be an occasion for celebration and delight.
But for Irish American baker Lorraine Fleming one couples nuptials apparently have put her soul in mortal danger.
Owner of The Cake Pros bakery in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, Fleming recently rejected a lesbian couples order for a wedding cake.
Responding to the predictable furor her decision created Fleming told WFMZ news station that she was sorry but not sorry.
“I’m sorry for the damage that's been done as far as hurt feelings," she explained, adding “I’m not sorry for my decision and I feel strong. I know that I'm doing the right thing."
Translated from the Christian fundamentalist this means: I’m very sorry if it hurts your feelings but the fact is I’m better than you.
Then Fleming added a startling detail. She admitted she had gay relatives herself and she knew how her decision would hurt them, but her fidelity to the Lord was stronger than her fidelity to her own kin.
"We have homosexuality in our family and it was a hard decision to make, but in the end when I die and I'm one on one with God, I have to stand true to him,” Fleming said.
She won’t be standing true to her own family, however.
Now, to most people reading this it may sound like a business owner making a decision she is entitled to. Certainly there are no laws in place to protect the lesbian couple from Fleming’s discrimination, because Pennsylvania is one of 29 states without statewide public accommodation protections for LGBT citizens.
But Jennifer and Bethany Petrich didn’t just appear in a flash of smoke. They have lived in the local community their whole lives, they are very familiar with The Cake Pros bakery. In fact it was Jennifer’s mom who had placed the order and was upfront that it was for a gay couple.
In fact the couple are already married. The cake was to celebrate the renewal of their vows.
But in the end they received a call from Fleming who informed her they were a Christian bakery and that she had talked to Jesus for two weeks.
Jesus had apparently told her that because it was two married females she couldn't bake the cake.
I would have loved to have witnessed that conversation because nothing could really make the insult, which is profound and intentionally discriminatory, more pronounced.
“We asked her to bake a cake, not marry us,” said an exasperated Jennifer.
In recent weeks gay couples have been denied weddings cakes, wedding dresses, wedding planners, wedding venues and - in one case in Florida, a pastor told a mother at a wake that he was canceling her sons funeral.
It’s what Jesus wants.
The history behind “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”