Free to Believe

Pam Regentin

Fleur Cakes: Mount Hood, Oregon

In May 2013, specialty cake designer and owner of Fleur Cakes Pam Regentin decided against providing a wedding cake to a couple identifying as lesbian—Katie Pugh and Erin Hansen—who had requested her services. The incident occurred when the couple requested a cake tasting and further confirmed that the requested cake would be for a same-sex marriage. Regentin indicated that she did not endorse court-created same-sex marriage, and that it was not legal in Oregon, where the event was planned.

Within days, a media firestorm erupted and Regentin, who operated the business out of her own home, became the target for a social media boycott and also received vitriolic voice mails and emails—some of which called for the destruction of her business and her own death.

In a May 17, 2013 op-ed, Regentin explained:

"First and foremost, the media is misrepresenting me and the conversation I had with Katie Pugh. In my telephone exchange with her, it was clear that we held vastly differing opinions on this issue.

I take my position from my religious principles, and not out of my feelings for her as a person and she stated she understood that. We ended the conversation in a civil manner; I told her I was willing to make her a birthday cake or anything else she might want.

I did not refuse her service, but merely stated that I do not endorse same-sex marriage, and that it is not legal in Oregon, where her event is planned (in Hood River).

I mentioned that she may want to pursue the talents of another baker that would work to make her day everything she wanted it to be. She stated that though we do not agree, she respects me and my opinions, as I do her and hers."

News reports as of May 17, 2013 indicated that neither Pugh nor Hansen planned to pursue a lawsuit. "We hope that this can turn into a respectful conversation between people of differing viewpoints," Hansen said.

Photo credit: Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman