Free to Believe

Edie and David Delorme

Kern’s Bake Shop: Longview, Texas

When a same-sex couple came to Edie and David Delorme’s bakery in February to request a cake for their wedding, Edie, a believing Christian, handled the situation as frankly and honestly as she could. She explained that her bakery does not make same-sex wedding cakes, but then offered the couple a list of other bakers who would most likely be able to fulfil their request, which the two men received amiably.

Following the civil exchange, the same-sex couple contacted a local newspaper, saying that Edie’s response made them feel “dehumanized.” Once news of the incident spread, activists opposed to the Delormes’ views on marriage began to attack the couple and their business on social media platforms like Yelp, among others. They also began receiving menacing phone calls, with one person even threatening to burn the family’s house down and physically harm their 17-year-old son. With the threats continuing to mount on a daily basis, the couple’s 8-year-old daughter has been staying with relatives.

So far, there has been no legal action taken against the Delormes or their business, but the couple decided to enlist the aid of First Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry to help them with any issues that may arise.

Berry has stated that the Delormes have never had any intention of specifically rejecting same-sex couples, since they have operated their bakery under the principles of their Christian faith ever since purchasing the business last year. In the past, they have declined to bake cakes celebrating a variety of themes that they deemed unsuitable, including alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and “sexually inappropriate messages.”

Berry also said that the Delormes are “technically currently protected” under local ordinances. “[The city of] Longview as we speak right now does not have a city ordinance that would make sexual orientation a protected class of people,” Berry said. “That’s really unfortunate that whether or not somebody’s religious liberty will be protected hinges on where they live.”

The Delormes will continue to stand strong for their beliefs despite the Internet and phone persecution they have received. As Edie explained, their decision to decline baking a same-sex wedding cake was not something they took lightly—it spoke of something that goes to the core of who they are.

“That cake is used to celebrate a union. We just don’t feel like we’re supposed to take part in the celebration of that union, because it’s a violation of our faith,” Edie says. “We want to make that cake the most perfect for them, exactly what they wanted … we really pour ourselves into it, and we take delight in seeing their joy in what we were able to create for them.” David elaborated further: “[Our family tries] to live Scripture every day,” he says. “Our faith is who we are.”

Photo credit: Courtesy of First Liberty Institute