Christian Caterer Refuses To Work Gay Wedding
A California couple says a catering service has refused their services to them because they’re gay.
On November 26, Kama Kaina contacted Janet Zimmerman Catering with a request to cater his wedding to his longtime partner, Mathew Rivera. Zimmerman, who had been recommended by the couple’s planned venue in Big Bear, Calif., initially agreed. But several hours later, she sent an email expressing a change of heart because of her “Christian beliefs.”
“Thank you for contacting me in regards to your upcoming wedding,” Zimmerman wrote to Kaina, according to an email forwarded to The Advocate. “I really appreciate that you were honest with me and gave me a heads up that this would be a same sex marriage. I hope that you will also appreciate when I am honest with you when I say that catering your wedding would comprise [sic] my Christian beliefs and I will be unable to accept this job. I am sure that you will be able to find someone who will better suit your needs.”
This is, surprisingly, legal. But it shouldn’t be.
In California, public accommodations and business establishments such as bars, restaurants, and retail stores are prohibited from discriminating against gay, lesbian, and bisexual people under the Unruh Civil Rights Act. However, sexual orientation is not one of the protected characteristics listed under the state’s Business and Professions Code section 125.6, which applies to individuals licensed to render services.