Justice

Yelp Reviewers Are Slamming This Homophobic Bakery

Kern's Bake Shop in Longview, Texas is feeling the hurt of crowd-sourced negative consumer reviews, after the bakery denied a gay couple a wedding cake because of a religious disposition.

Yelp review

According to the Longview News-Journal, Ben Valencia and Luis Marmolejo went to the Longview bakery on February 17 seeking a cake for their upcoming ceremony. But the Kern's owners, Edie and David Delmore, turned the couple away. "We don't provide cakes for homosexual marriages," Edie told the News-Journal. The Delmores did suggest other bakeries for the couple, the Houston Chronicle notes, but not before Yelpers heard the story and took to their keyboards.

Many reviewers took up the torch of anti-discrimination in their predominantly one-star reviews of the bakery.

Yelp review

Yelp review

Yelp review

Others had cheekily positive joke reviews, lauding the shop for falsely accommodating same-sex couples.

Yelp review

Yelp review

But the page also had an equally strong-worded cadre of supporters who stood up for the business' choice in refusing the gay couple service.

Yelp review\

Yelp review

Yelp review

The couple that was turned down said they felt "dehumanized" by the experience. "I don't see how making a cake for somebody is going to compromise your beliefs," Marmolejo told the News-Journal.

"It just kind of makes you feel dehumanized," Valencia added.

Michael Berry, a lawyer representing the bakery, told the Houston Chronicle that other cakes with themes that ran against the owners' beliefs — involving alcohol, tobacco, or gambling — had previously been turned down. The Chronicle notes that limited legal protections in the state could leave the couple with few options.

It's not the first time a small business has drawn the ire of internet users and activists for refusing service to a same-sex couple. In late December, Aaron Klien, who owned a bakery in Gresham, Oregon, paid nearly $137,000 in damages to a lesbian couple that were denied wedding-cake service at his bakery on religious grounds. The payment was ordered by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.

As for the Kern's bakery, its owners told the News-Journal they would opt to close their business instead of bending to external pressures and compromising their beliefs.