The Just Cookies bakery in Indianapolis is drawing criticism for refusing to accept an order from a gay student group at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. What sort of offensive, non-family-friendly baked good was the group trying to purchase? Erotic breadstick? Vaginal red velvet cake? Dear god, was it a giant phallus made of phyllo?
No, it was ... rainbow cupcakes and cookies.
According to the man who owns the bakery, the festively colored sugary confections meant to celebrate LGBT pride violate the values of their business. Which I would have thought was something like, "Sell cookies and stuff. Lots of them, hopefully," but apparently it runs deeper than that. Co-owner David Stockton told a local television station,
"I explained we're a family-run business, we have two young, impressionable daughters, and we thought maybe it was best not to do that."
He added that it was the bakery's choice to decide what was acceptable, clarifying that rainbow colors fall into a similar category as NC-17 brownies.
"We have our values, and you know, some things ... for instance, if someone wants a cookie with an obscenity, well, we're not going to do that."
Okay, so I don't share these values at all, personally. And again, speaking personally, I think it's too bad the owners are teaching their "young, impressionable daughters" that it's okay to think less of someone for their lifestyle.
However, they are a private enterprise, and as such, I think they should be able to decide what kind of wonky values govern their own business.
City officials are now involved, and mayoral spokesman Robert Vane told Fox News,
"It's the other proprietor stating his personal views, that's the problem, because that's not the image of the City Market and the image Mayor Ballard is trying to portray."
The mayor surely doesn't want more bad press, so I'm sure they'll be swift to issue some sort of set of rules for all its market vendors to abide by, which removes their freedom to make certain business decisions. Even the ones I find personally icky.
The city government's involvement doesn't seem right to me. The student group got their cupcakes from a different vendor, and isn't that the better way to show a business what we think of their values? By shopping elsewhere?
What do you think? Should a business be able to decide to refuse certain services based on 'family values'?
Image via Trebz/Flickr