Lesbian baker in Detroit got homophobic cake order: Why she made it anyway – Detroit Free Press

As a Black, openly gay woman, April Anderson said she is no stranger to discrimination. 

But Anderson, a pastry chef with a national reputation, was taken aback by a recent cake order that came into her Good Cakes and Bakes bakery on Livernois in Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion commercial corridor.

And, at least at first, she was unsure  how to handle it, worried she could wind up facing a lawsuit.  

The customer — who turned out to be an employee of a Ferndale-based, conservative Catholic organization — wanted the cake decorated with a decidedly anti-gay message. It was a disturbing slap in the face to Anderson and her wife and business partner, Michelle.

More: How a right-wing, Ferndale fringe group is building a multimedia empire

“We are so used to being Black lesbian women,” Anderson said. “You are used to people discriminating against you and saying mean things to you.”

On July 19, an online order came in for one of the bakery’s red velvet dessert cakes — an Anderson specialty.  

LGBTQ-owned bakery Good Cakes and Bakes assistant baker Breann Bailey, 28, of Detroit, sifts flour as she bakes in their Detroit shop on Aug. 11, 2020.

The $40 order was paid for by credit card and  included a $10 tip — which is common.

What struck Anderson first was the word “PRIDE” was in all caps thinking it was for the rainbow-themed Pride Month cake the bakery offered in June.  

“That was the cake for June, a six-layer cake for Pride month,” Anderson said. “That was done and over with. I thought, ‘I have to make another one of those cakes?'” 

Then Anderson read the message the customer wanted written on the cake and was stunned. 

“I am ordering this cake to celebrate and have PRIDE in true Christian marriage,” the customer said in the order.  “I’d like you to write on the cake, in icing, ‘Homosexual acts are gravely evil. (Catholic Catechism 2357)'”

“This can’t be real was my first thought,” Anderson recalled.

Then she showed the order to Michelle. 

“Why would somebody order this from us?” Anderson said. “They know our bakery. It’s not like it’s a secret. It says it on our about page and social media pages and very clear that this bakery is owned by two lesbian women.”

Anderson phoned her friend Eli Majid, who owns Eli’s Tea Bar in Birmingham. 

“Do you believe someone just ordered that from the bakery?” she asked Majid. 

Within an hour, Majid, using social channels and reverse phone lookup, identified the customer, his church and what college he went to. He was identified as David Gordon, in a followup Pridesource.com article

The church affiliation led them to Church Militant, a  Ferndale-based Catholic fringe group. On his Twitter account, Gordon is listed as “a copyeditor @Church Militant, Lawyer, theology MA, author, sportsman, family man.” He has more than 4,000 followers. 

LGBTQ-owned bakery Good Cakes and Bakes assistant baker Breann Bailey, 28, of Detroit, sifts flour as she bakes in their Detroit shop on Aug. 11, 2020. The shop was targeted by an alt-right religious group.

Responding late Tuesday to a Twitter message from a Free Press reporter, Gordon said the bakery “admits that it never had any intention of serving me and making me the custom red velvet cake that I duly requested and paid for.”  He also said he was acting on his own behalf, without the knowledge of his employer, Church Militant.

 “I was denied the services I requested at a place of public accommodation on the basis of the content of my beliefs —  this is gleefully acknowledged by the owners of the bakery in the relevant Pridesource article,” Gordon said in his message. 

Leave a Reply