Iowa Baker Refuses to Create Wedding Cake for Lesbian Couple, Cites Her Christian Beliefs


Lesbian couple Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers went to Victoria Childress for their wedding cake. At a taste-testing appointment they were told that she wouldn't do it for them because it conflicts with ther Christian beliefs.

LesbiancoupleSaid Childress: "I didn't do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right as a business owner. It is my right, and it's not to discriminate against them. It's not so much to do with them, it's to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer (to) him for."

The couple says it was degrading: "It was like she chastised us for wanting to do business with her. I know Jesus loves me. I didn't need her to tell me that. I didn't go there for that. I just wanted to go there for a cake."

Video interview with Childress HERE.

Local bakers are weighing in on the issue, some noting that Childress is just a dumb businesswoman, others noting that she just isn't a real Christian:

Dana Schaub and Cythia Hendrickson are co-owners of The Devilsih Pig Bakery. Together, they say, what happened was not right.

"To have someone say, 'Well I'm sorry because your lifestyle is different from mine, I'm not going to take care of you and help you. And I don't want your business,' It's wrong on so many levels," said Schaub. Hendrickson said proclaimed Christians shouldn't judge. "As Christians, we are supposed to be unselfish, and do things for the greatest good of mankind, and not pass judgment," said Hendrickson.


  1. AllBeefPatty says

    First question: Why would you do business with a woman who looks like a meth addict?

    Second question: Has this creature ever seen the god she walks with? Because based on her response, it has horns with a pitchfork.

  2. Steve says

    Yeah, it’s clearly the gay couple who discriminated against her beliefs /sarcasm

    And just because she has the legal right (which isn’t even true in all states by the way), doesn’t make it morally or ethically correct. That’s the real point here

  3. Banter says

    If she wants to be a stupid businesswoman, let her be one. Who cares? These lesbians making this a news story is exactly what drives people to oppose gay marriage because they fear somehow they can’t think what they want to think about gays. It’s these situations that drive people to advocate for religious exemptions to gay marriage as a compromise and hold up the process.

    Let crazy religious bigots be crazy religious bigots. It does not matter to me if you don’t like me. Take your cake and shove it. Someone else will take my money. Why is this a news story?

  4. Francis says

    Of course the local bakers are calling her a dumb businesswoman. Doesn’t she not get it? Pissing off the gays is a no-no, Ms. Childress.

    Also, obviously, this isn’t very Christian behavior. But in the eyes of people like Ms. Childress, it’s perfectly OK to denigrate our sexuality, and they feel totally entitled in doing so. Says a lot about her character.

    Well, time for a boycott of her business. Is sexual orientation a protected class in Iowa?

  5. says

    BC is correct. She has the right to refuse anyone business. So does anyone in business.

    Probably a smart move, because now look at all the attention she’s being given and think of all the other narrow-minded “christian” folks that will flock to support her!

  6. stevenelliot says

    As a waiter for years in college I would happily part right wing fundos from their hard earned money and then go blow it in the gay bar attempting to get me some good “man on man”……convictions dont put food on the table

  7. justinw says

    Has she ever made a wedding cake for people where it’s the 2 or (2+) wedding for one or both parties? If so, the whole “Christian values” thing is pretty much just an excuse to say “Ooo. Lesbians are icky.” under the guise of religious sanction. But y’know, there are *plenty* of people who could use the money, and I’m sure someone would like to help out the nice couple and make them a cake.

  8. Photoman says

    As a small business owner, I agree with her assertion that she has a right to not do business with whomever she chooses not to – Good business practice or awful.

    What I disagree with her on is her assertion that this is not discrimination. When you choose to say I will not do business with you based on my judgement of your lifestyle, that is the very definition of discrimination.

    Too many in the evangelical Christian community think they can do whatever they want and excuse it with “I’m a Christian”. It reminds me of that Geico commercial with the talking pothole: “Oh, look at that I raped and murdered your family, well its OK I’m a Christian. Soooo Sorry. We’ll enjoy damnation for all eternity in hell you filthy pagan, and remember I love you”. It just nauseates me.

    I AM A Christian. I have read the entire Bible many times. Whether you abide by Leviticus (and lets be honest, not even the most conservative Jews do, if they have indoor plumbing) or Romans or any of the other tortured passages I do not recall anywhere where it says “thou shalt not provide pastries to those who sin”.

    I don’t believe this has anything to do with her walk with God, it has more to do with her Walk with Maggie and Bob van Der Plaats. Cue the Marriage Anti-Defamation League video and the cries of Homo Economic Terrorism against her.

  9. kodiak says

    who painted her face on? she literally looks like a puppet. wait, isn’t it against the bible to make yourself look like the whore of babylon?
    unfortunately, for many christians, faith and ignorance are the same thing. i mean, does she really believe jesus is going to cast her soul unto satan because she baked a cake? that’s cuckoo!!

  10. says

    To these people blathering “She has the right to refuse anyone business. So does anyone in business.”

    In many states, this is not correct. People cannot refuse service to customers based on race, disability, sexual orientation, etc., etc.

    This is why the lesbians in New Mexico successfully sued the photographer who refused their business.

  11. enough already says

    My tolerance for christians has long since reached zero.
    Even in isolated areas, there are almost always ways to avoid doing business with them if you try.
    And you should.
    Why give money to people who are trying to recreate the 3rd Reich?

  12. luminum says

    I get how you’ll be offended and angry when you first hear it, but if she’s not a public institution, why even bother taking action against her?

    What they did here is good enough: Accept that she’s a homophobe hiding behind her interpretation of the Bible and take your business elsewhere, being sure to inform people you know (and others) that she is a homophobe and allow them to make their future purchasing decisions based on that information.

  13. tranquilo says

    Question: I know they trot out the Leviticus stuff against gay men (though not shellfish), but is there actually anything in the Bible that preaches against lesbians?

  14. says

    @Homer yet it IS legal in Iowa. Look, if this were a bar or restaurant turning away a gay couple I’d feel differently. Those are clearly places of “public accomodation”. Yet to force someone to provide a service like this? I despise her reasons and would love to see her business boycotted into the ground, but this I’m willing to let go. We can’t use the law to force everyone to conform to what we believe, that’s precisely what we object to the social cons doing. Besides, knowing what she believes I wouldn’t want to patronize her business let alone trust that any cake bought from her would be up to par.

  15. says

    @Tranquilo: On the surface, yes. See Romans 1:26-27. There is some dispute whether this is meant to include all homosexual behavior, if Paul had temple prostitution in mind (a big thing among pagan cults at the time), or if this is something that can be dismissed as just Paul’s own cultural views (e.g. women covering their hair in 1 Corinthians 11:6, since such women were considered to be whores in ancient Corinth).

  16. Gry says

    Just her hair alone is indicative of terrible personal problems projected onto the world.

    Also, money is green and identical no matter who gives it to you?

    Will she also not cater to divorcees getting remarried, shotgun weddings,gold diggers, and flamboyant heteros on their fifth marriage?

    Notice how the slippery slope always works in their favor?

  17. says

    Religion is the most important tool any bigot has in their back pocket. It’s their OUT card. As religion is SO BLOODY unchallenged .. The 2nd most important tool religious bigots have is the gays . They absolutely require having some kind of Boogyman to rally around as they have no genuine focus on the works and words of their own christ

  18. Robert in NYC says

    Amazing how these idiots use their “beliefs” to justify discrimination even though they say it has nothing to do with the couple’s orientation. What a crock. Christians, among others, aren’t supposed to tell lies are they? She can’t even be honest about it. Soon as she mentions that infamous word “lifestyle” (never used to describe a straight orientation mind you), you know right there she’s lying.

    I wonder if an atheist owner of a hotel, restaurant or cafe posted a sign saying “christians” and other religious bigots not welcome” would be prosecuted based on his or her belief system?

  19. Dan says

    Here’s some legal analysis:

    – This is the latest example of an ongoing dispute over what constitutes the “free exercise of religion.” People have a right to freely exercise their religion w/o governmental interference. However, as has happened in a few dozen cases over the past few years, some Christian business owners have tried to argue that “free exercise of religion” extends even to their business decisions, their conduct in a for-profit commercial setting, when those decisions and that conduct are religiously motivated.

    And so we have had the case of the Christian wedding photographer in New Mexico, the Indiana cupcake baker, the bed and breakfasts in IL, and now an Iowa baker. Although NOM tries to make as much hay out of these cases as possible as they desperately search for some kind of downside to gay marriage, there is no basis for the claim that baking, renting, catering, and taking photographs for money constitutes the free exercise of religion. Not every religiously motivated act is protected. And if we adopted such a rule, you would essentially exempt religious people from the rule of law, as they could shield themselves behind a religious motivation whenever they wanted to skirt their civic obligations. This would go far beyond the issue of gay rights and gay marriage.

    The lesbian couple is in the right and since IA prohibits discrimination of this type, they could sue. They might, however, wish to consider letting this go for political reasons. The right to marriage is under attack in IA and it would be an act of charity for them to pass on a lawsuit in order to rob NOM of public relations ammunition.

  20. antb says

    She has the right to refuse the business on whatever grounds including religious objection. They have the right to go somewhere else and make sure people of good conscience and good will know that Childress is a bigot and a homophobe and that nobody should do business with her. End of story.

  21. says

    @Milkman: Why not? How quickly do you think such a business would cave to bad publicity? I sure as hell am not going to patronize a business I know that turns away people because of their race, religion, etc. It’s very easy to be so strident in a state where you’ll suffer little to no repurcussions, but this is all fodder against those of us in deeply Red states. Find another baker and photographer, while leading a boycott of those who discriminate.

  22. Hollywood, CA says

    Do you think it’s okay for Victoria to bake cakes for couples that have had DIVORCE in their past? Do you think her Cherry Picking Christian tactics should be allowed to go on without so much as a peep? Here’s her contact information:

    Victoria’s Cake Cottage
    420 NW 51st Pl
    Des Moines, IA 50313
    Phone: (515) 729-0253

    If these bigots and homophobes would be consistent with their hatred, maybe it wouldn’t be such an issue. But don’t tell me my gay lifestyle is against yoru religion when there are 100s of things in the bible that could stop you from doing business with “sinners,” but you overlook all that. You’re not suppose to eat shrimp if you’re a Christian, so does she ask to take a look at the wedding menu to make sure shrimp isn;t being served with her cake? Hypocritical…

  23. Karel says

    Someone should post this over on the actual news website (I am unwilling to do so using my Facebook profile) where the discussion is still proceeding on the assumption that this kind of discrimination is LEGAL, presumably because we still lack a Federal Anti-Discrimination Act. But that is flat-out FALSE.

    The Iowa Civil Rights Act can be found on the website of its relevant Commission, here:

    Pertinent quote:

    “It shall be an unfair or discriminatory practice for any owner, lessee, sublessee, proprietor, manager or superintendent of any public accommodation or any agent or employee thereof:

    a. To refuse or deny to any person because of…sexual orientation… in the furnishing of such accommodations, advantages, facilities, services, or privileges.”

    This woman’s actions are illegal on their face. Someone needs to make this clear to the people of Iowa. Sorry that someone isn’t me, but it’s not my place (not an Iowan).

  24. Fenrox says

    Man, the business lady is correct, and it sounds like she did it in the best possible way.

    For instance, The bodegas in my area are all owned by muslim dudes, That means that they do not serve bacon. SO when I get a sandwich with bacon I get turkey bacon. SO PISSED, I yell at the guy, “where is the bacon!?” and he says he cant cook bacon because of his religious beliefs. So I end up going somewhere else. He pushed his religious views before his business sense. I went somewhere else, I would say we are both happy from the result, these two parties should also be happy, neither is really put out, offense doesn’t and shouldn’t carry too much weight.

  25. says

    Has she ever made a cake for non-Christians? Has she ever made a cake for a couple that is going to be married despite the fact that neither member is a virgin?
    Has she ever made a cake for a mixed-faith couple?

    If so, she’s lying. Notice how people only have “Christian Beliefs” when it comes to discriminating against gays?


  26. wtf says

    wow there is a LOT of FAIL in these comments. Sexual orientation IS a protected class in Iowa and what she did is AGAINST THE LAW. Do you really want to live in a world where people can just refuse you service because you’re gay/black/Jewish/etc.? It is NONE OF HER BUSINESS TO JUDGE HER PATRONS. If you’re going to do business in the public sphere, you must adhere to the laws that govern that state or nation. In Iowa, thankfully, gay people actually have some protections. She broke the law. Plus, she’s full of $hit. Her reasoning in a courtroom would FAIL just as most of the comments on this story do. Does she give out a questionnaire to each couple she makes a cake for to make sure they aren’t breaking any of her religious laws? Has she ever made a cake for someone who’s had an abortion? If she’s really going to take this tack, then she must follow it through all the way or it’s simply arbitrary discrimination based solely on sexual orientation, WHICH IS PROTECTED IN IOWA. The more I see the stupid comments on issues like this the less that I am surprised that we don’t have equal rights yet. GET AN EDUCATION.

  27. Bart says

    I wonder if she would bake a birthday cake for someone whose “lifestyle” she didn’t approve of or if it’s only wedding cakes she won’t bake for people with a “lifestyle” she disagrees with because of her religious beliefs. (Yep, still can’t wrap my head around that “gay lifestyle” thing…and is it different than the “lesbain lifestyle”? Maybe it’s because God is walking her around in circles the woman is confused…or maybe God walked in backwards and told her he was leaving and she believed it. Sorry, bad jokes are part of the gay lifestyle so I had to toss a few in.)

    This will harm her professionally and probably personally as she’s going to find out just how many people in her community find her repugnant and judgemental. She seems like such a pathetic person to begin with, I imagine that she will reap what she sows.

  28. Opinionated says

    You can email them at I just sent them a message informing them that they forgot to put up their “Straights Only” sign and left that out as a disclaimer on their website as well.

    This is despicable and news flash lady but if you are refusing service for a whole group of people then regardless of your justifications it is certainly discrimination, plain and simple.

  29. Josh says

    Is that a 6 oclock shadow she is sporting?? I hope her buisness is booming cause after all this I am sure she will regret turning buisness down. Lets face it when things get better for us there will be alot of money to be made-she doesnt deserve to succeed in buisness.

  30. Hollywood, CA says

    @ FENROX – Where is this fake muslim bodega that you never went to and never complained about turkey bacon? Never Neverland?

    “Man, the business lady is correct, and it sounds like she did it in the best possible way.

    For instance, The bodegas in my area are all owned by muslim dudes, That means that they do not serve bacon. SO when I get a sandwich with bacon I get turkey bacon. SO PISSED, I yell at the guy, “where is the bacon!?” and he says he cant cook bacon because of his religious beliefs…”

    Posted by: Fenrox | Nov 14, 2011 1:12:3

  31. Andy says

    Christian beliefs also eschew sex before and outside of marriage for straight people (fornication’s the biblical term).

    With the number of folks cohabiting and screwing before their wedding, does she make the same distinction, I wonder?

    I call this selective discrimination and reeks of hypocrisy.

  32. Southern Comfort says

    This story is so stupid. As idiotic as I think Joan Crawford brows up there is, I’m also irked at the lesbians for not making it their priority to support gay-owned-and-operated businesses first. You can’t tell me there are no homos baking cakes in Iowa!

    As aggravating as this might be, I would ask that the we refrain from harassing this sad, ignorant woman. Burning her in effigy won’t teach her anything and will only serve to paint our entire community as being every bit as petty and vindictive as FUAX News likes to scare senior citizens into believing that we are.

  33. facts says

    Clearly this person who wrote this is against it. There was nothing on the other woman’s side. I rather follow my faith then listen to what society says what is right or wrong. Let me put it this way. If society said it was alright to kill anyone you hate would you? I can guarantee if society accepted it people would do it. Don’t say people would never. Because it happens all the time.People kill other people because they don’t like them. The only difference is against the law. Point is don’t accept everything society offers.

  34. JT says

    She sure sounds like a true christian(TM) to me. At least, she isn’t acting any differently than the vast majority of those who call themselves christians, and if that isn’t a useful definition, I don’t know what is.

  35. macmantoo says

    It’s her right as a business owner to refuse. I respect that. However, if she is going to follow her faith and deny the couple their cake, then she should advertise she only bakes for Christians. That way all others can avoid wasting their time going to her business.

    I think the couple should make clear to everyone they know this woman discriminates and gays should avoid her business. And you know the song, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends and they tell to friends…………

  36. Cassandra says

    “My tolerance for christians has long since reached zero.” – Enough Already

    Homophobes say something very similar, particularly in Uganda.

    JohnAGJ – you are wrong. Like the other gotcha verses, nothing in Romans 1 actually talks about homosexuality – lesbians do not abandon sexual attraction to men. And the only men who are known to abandon sexual attraction to women, are those who had have sex with Maggie Gallagher or Ann Coulter.

  37. bill says

    Looks like bunch gals got their underwear all bunched up … it’s her business .you don’t like her policy go somewhere else she got right to her misguided views like you do .She doesnt like you ,its her business get life,start cake company specialize in lesbian cakes …might get rich .Right now you all come across as bunch old gals going thrugh meno pause at one time .

  38. azmds1 says

    I own a small cafe and most of my customers are straight. Occasionally, some of the older ones and some men indulge in some negative gay related conversations or joke telling amongst themselves. While we do not actively promote ourselves as a “gay” owned establishment, it is well known. I could take exception with those people and ask them not to do business with us but our policy is to serve all people, even ones we do not share a political or social philosophy with. Childress obviously does not understand why she is in business in the first place and hiding behind God to excuse her bigotry is only marketing her future closure. God to Childress at the gates “Sorry, we don’t allow cake decorators”

  39. steve says

    Good for her! We live in a country of freedom except for the freedom to speak out against the perversion of moral values and the many ‘social’ issues that have have taken us to the lowest gutters of existence!

  40. hyrcan says

    Tired old Christian cop-out is tired.

    The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

    She can not discriminate against them because of her religion it’s the law.

    “I didn’t do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right as a business owner. It is my right, and it’s not to discriminate against them. It’s not so much to do with them, it’s to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer (to) him for.”

    Also, similar things were said during Loving v. Virginia… and about interracial marriages in general…

  41. Deborah says

    Sigh. Why do we always have to be so politically correct? She stood up for her beliefs. Bottom line. Tired of people being brainwashed by the Liberal media. It’s her damn business. If you dont like it buy a cake somewhere else. Sobs.Sob.

  42. John says

    She wouldn’t serve 2 dykes? Aye?
    I’m not even religious and I know gays are perverted, twisted.
    Does it justify a child rapist to have sex with a kid. Pretty soon it will be
    Normal to sleep with a ki d.

  43. David says

    Why is it that every time someone does not agree with the homosexual lifestyle they are labeled a homophobe? I’m not afraid of the homosexual lifestyle, I just don’t agree with it. I do think it is a sinful lifestyle but it is not the unpardonable sin. I don’t think people are born homosexual but it is a result of people giving in to temptations. Think about it…pedophiles say they were born attracted to young kids but does that make it right…heck no!!! People say I was born with anger, is it okay to bash another person’s head in because they are angry…heck no!

  44. dan says

    She can refuse to server whomever she wants and for whatever reasons she wants to!
    When you people own your own business, you get that right!

    The gay couple need to get over themselves. REALLY, the gay movement is getting out of hand. Act like everyone else, just live your life how you want to and don’t get into EVERY ODIES FACE ABOUT IT!

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