Entries in Same-Sex Marriage (5)


Bakery Denies Same-Sex Couple Wedding Cake

Jeffrey Hamilton/Thinkstock(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Sweet Cakes, an Oregon-based bakery, says on its website they make “cakes for any occasion.”

But that isn’t the case, according to one customer, who says she was denied a cake for her same-sex wedding.

The bride-to-be filed a complaint on Jan. 28 with the Oregon Department of Justice, which is looking into the allegation.

Aaron Klein, who owns the bakery with his wife, Melissa, told ABC News affiliate KATU-TV,  he was living in accordance with his religious beliefs when he declined to make the brides a wedding cake.

“I honestly did not mean to hurt anybody, didn’t  mean to make anybody upset, [it's] just something I believe in very strongly,” he said.

The Oregon Equality Act was enacted in 2007 and prohibits public accommodations, including businesses, from discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Klein, however, said he believes his actions are protected by his Constitutional right to practice his religion as he sees fit.

According to KATU, there isn’t an exception under the anti-discrimination law for religious beliefs, so the case would be left for a judge to decide.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Gay Marriage Activists Try Again to Counter Chick-fil-A Day

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After traditional marriage advocates came out en masse for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day last week, gay marriage activists are planning to swarm Starbucks on Tuesday to show their support for companies that offer same-sex partner benefits.

Tuesday's National Marriage Equality Day is a "direct response" to conservative commentator Mike Huckabee's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which the chicken company said led to "record-setting" sales last week.

"It felt like the right wing groups were showcasing Aug. 1 as 'This is how America feels,'" said Kirsten Ott Palladino, the editor of an online same-sex wedding magazine, Equally Wed, who, along with her wife, started the equality day effort.  "We are wanting to say, 'This isn't all of America and we can come out and support our businesses too."

The controversy began after Chick-fil-A's president, Dan Cathy, was widely quoted as opposing same-sex marriage.

"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,'" he said.

Palladino told ABC News the day was originally planned as Starbucks Appreciation Day, to show support for a company that, unlike Chick-fil-A, supports same-sex marriage and offers benefits to same-sex couples.  But Starbucks managers asked Palladino to expand the effort to include other companies that are supporters of LGBT rights, a change Palladino said she happily made.

"In the end I think that I'm happier with it becoming this because it's not just supporting businesses that support marriage equality, but also non-profits that are working tirelessly and sometimes thanklessly to support marriage equality in this country," she said.  "At the end of the day it's not just about seeing how many lines we're wrapping around Starbucks."

Starbucks did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.  To see a full list of businesses the equality day is celebrating click here.

More than 28,500 people have said on Facebook they will join in Tuesday's appreciation day, about twice as many attendees as there were for the Chick-fil-A kiss-in that other LGBT advocates held last Friday.  About 12,000 people signed up on Facebook for the kiss-in, which urged same-sex couples to take a photo of themselves kissing outside a Chick-fil-A.

It's still a fraction of the 650,000 people who said on Facebook that they would attend Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day last Wednesday.

Palladino said Huckabee's "household name status" is what made his pro-traditional marriage event so popular.  Big name conservatives like Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum also posted their support for the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on Twitter and Facebook.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Chick-fil-A Opponents Stage Same-Sex Kiss-In

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of traditional marriage activists ate "mor chickin" to support Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.  On Thursday, it is same-sex marriage allies' turn.

Gay marriage supporters are putting a romantic spin on traditional sit-ins, organizing "kiss-ins" outside of Chick-fil-A restaurants from Dallas to New York City to celebrate National Same-Sex Kiss Day.

"Basically what you're going to get is a bunch of pretty normal, average, everyday people that just happen to be gay or lesbian give each other a kiss or a hug, hold each other's hand, and really show them that we stand up for what we believe," said Marci Alt, who is organizing a protest outside the Chick-fil-A in Decatur, Ga., about 20 miles from the company's Atlanta headquarters.

While the spark for this week's protests both for and against Chick-fil-A stemmed from comments the company's CEO, Dan Cathy, made supporting traditional marriage, the issues driving people to the streets go deeper than one executive's words.

"For me why it's so important is, I don't believe anybody should have the ability to say, I'm not a good Christian, or I'm Jewish, that I'm not a good Jew because I'm gay," said Alt, who has been with her wife for 12 years and has two daughters. The couple have invited Cathy over to dinner, where they "can share a respectful dialogue about our faith, work and families here in Georgia," said Alt, who says she'll even make chicken.

Many of the Chick-fil-A supporters who turned out for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day told ABC News that they chose to eat chicken sandwiches on Wednesday to support Cathy's First Amendment rights to express his opinion on marriage. 

Activists who are planning to turn out for Friday's kiss-off say it is not about speech, it's about action.  Chick-fil-A and the non-profit foundation WinShape that it supports have donated millions to anti-gay groups such as the Marriage & Family Foundation, the Family Research Council and the National Institute of Marriage, all of which support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

"Yes, you're allowed to have your opinion, but when you start signing checks over to people who are against my community and trying to rip my family apart, I'm going to stand up," Alt said.

Alt said she expects "hundreds, hopefully thousands" of people to show up for the Atlanta kiss-in.  Other formal protests are planned in Dallas and New York City and hundreds of other informal kiss-ins are expected around the country.

"It is just a nice nonviolent demonstration of LGBT love," said Rome Frost, who is organizing a kiss-in outside of New York City's only Chick-fil-A location, at New York University. "It's to show how much support that we do have and how we can solve these kinds of problems in a very nonviolent and romantic way."

Frost said he expects between 150 and 200 people -- both gay and straight -- to show up for the New York City kiss-in, which starts at 8 P.M. ET.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Traditional Marriage Supporters Urged to Patronize Chick-fil-A

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- People who support traditional marriage are being urged to patronize their Chick-fil-A restaurants on Wednesday by simply ordering chicken. 

This "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" is the brainchild of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who backs the opinion of owner Dan Cathy that same-sex marriage invites "God's judgment on the nation."

Business should be brisk at many of the 1,600 eateries, which is what Huckabee and former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum are hoping for in order to offset the outrage expressed by same-sex marriage supporters and the mayors of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco, who basically don't want Chick-fil-A restaurants operating in their neck of the woods.

Huckabee has been upset by what he sees as a violation of Cathy's First Amendment rights, saying, "I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick Fil-A.  It's a great American story that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left."

In truth, the charitable arm of Chick-fil-A has donated millions to causes opposed to homosexual rights.

Meanwhile, a counter-demonstration of sorts is in the works for Friday as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is sponsoring a National Same-Sex Kiss Day.  The group wants gays and lesbians to show up at Chick-fil-A restaurants and smooch.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Facebook Adds Same-Sex Marriage Status and Icons

LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Operating systems and tech services seem to be getting more LGBT friendly by the day.  On the heels of Apple’s adding same-sex emoticons to its iOS 6 operating system, Facebook has added a same-sex marriage status.

On Sunday evening, the social network rolled out a new feature, which allows users to indicate whether they have married someone of the same sex; users’ Timelines will now show a same-sex marriage icon.

The wedding announcement of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes was one of the first uses of the icon.  More than 2,500 users have since “liked” the status, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook has consistently been recognized as an LGBT-friendly company and service.

“This move is the latest in a series of measures Facebook has taken to support and include the LGBT community, which earned it the distinction of being the first social media company to receive a GLAAD Media Award earlier this year,” the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said in a statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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