US chain store, Wegmans supermarket, has found itself at the center of controversy after refusing to bake a cake for the Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA), fearing that it may cause offense.
The decision was quickly overturned after the group threatened legal action, and Wegmans agreed to bake the cake, which the group had requested in celebration of their three-year anniversary.
"The request included a picture of EXMNA name and logo, with a caption of 'Congratulations on 3 years!'" according to a statement from EXMNA, "but was refused by an associate from the Fairfax [Virginia] branch of the popular chain, stating that the request was 'offensive.'"
Andrew Seidel, an attorney from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, described the decision by Wegmans as “discriminatory and illegal in the same way bars, restaurants and other venues can’t refuse service to someone based on race or sexual identity.”
"It was the wrong decision," Jo Natale, a company spokeswoman, told the Democrat and Chronicle. "We should have made the cake. The decision to not fill this cake order was made at the store level by a well-intentioned employee, who was trying to act in the best interest of a diverse employee population."
This is the latest in a line of cake-based controversies. Earlier this year, a Christian bakery refused to bake a cake for a gay couple, triggering debate between gay rights supporters and religious freedom advocates in the US.