Free to Believe

Randy and Trish McGath

111 Cakery: Indianapolis, Indiana

In March 2014, Randy and Trish McGath, the owners of Indianapolis, Indiana’s 111 Cakery got a call from Mike Stephens and Shane Laney. The newly engaged couple identifying as homosexual wanted to hire 111 Cakery to make the cake for their April 2014 commitment ceremony.

Politely, the McGaths explained they couldn’t accept the job.  “As artists,” Randy told the local Fox affiliate, “we have to find inspiration to create something special for our clients,” he explained. “When asked to do a cake for an occasion or with a theme that’s in opposition with our faith, it’s just hard for us.  We struggle with that.”  Under 111 Cakery’s policy, the McGaths also draw the line at custom cakes with alcohol, drug, or violence-related messages. “There is zero hate here,” McGath reiterated.  “This causes us to do a lot of soul searching. Why are we doing what we do?  We want to show the love of Christ.  We want to be right with our God, but we also want to show kindness and respect to other people.”  Although Stephens and Laney complained about the decision on social media, they seem content to find another bakery without involving local officials.  “We found someone that will do it for us, so we’re going to focus on the good,” Stephens said.

However, in February 2015, the McGaths closed their doors. 111 Cakery was still profitable, but McGath's wife and co-owner, Trish, who did most of the baking, wanted more time to spend with the couple's four grandchildren. The business "was wearing her out," her husband said. 

The McGaths indicated they were well aware of the neighborhood’s gay culture when they opened their bakery in 2012. According to an interview with the Indianapolis Star, Randy McGath said they had served the gay community gladly but "just didn't want to be party to a committment [sic] ceremony" because such an event reflected "a committment [sic] to sin."

Although they had left the cake business, McGrath noted, "[w]e were just trying to be right with our God. I was able to speak to many homosexuals in the community and to speak our opinion and have a civil conversation. I'm still in touch with some."

Photo credit: Courtesy of 111 Cakery