Same-sex couple refused wedding cake from New Zealand bakery

A lesbian couple planning their wedding in New Zealand was left feeling “shocked and upset” after a baker refused to make a cake for the event.

Moe Barr and Sasha Patrick live in Brisbane, Australia—where same-sex marriages only became legal in November—but decided to make a holiday out of the occasion and travel to Waipu in New Zealand to celebrate their wedding in January. They got in touch with Kiwi baker Katherine Wade of Kath’s Devine Cakes who, on her website, promises to make bespoke cakes for “whatever your special occasion is.”

Barr shared the email exchange with PinkNews after she posted it on social media. “It’s a same-sex wedding so we wanted to make sure you’re LGBT-friendly?” the couple wrote on Friday evening, asking to make an appointment for a consultation the following week and detailing their ideas about the cake.

Moe Barr and Sasha Patrick pictured together (Image courtesy of Moe Barr)

The baker’s reply came the following morning, denying the couple their request on the basis of her “heart and beliefs,” despite New Zealand legalising same-sex marriage in 2013—the country has since become a popular destination for overseas same-sex couples wanting to tie the knot.

“I do not wish to offend either of you and I thank you for letting me know that it is a same sex wedding. Even though as individuals you are both fabulous and amazing people, I must follow the integrity of my heart and beliefs. Our government has legalised same sex marriages, but it is not my belief that it is correct, therefore I will not support it and cannot make your wedding cake for you,” she wrote.

Barr told PinkNews that the baker’s response “shocked and upset” them. The couple is still in the process of finding vendors for the wedding and they are concern they will face similar attitudes. “It kind of made us fearful for what was to come,” Barr said. The case echoes one recently under consideration of the Supreme Court in the US, who ruled in favour of a baker who discriminated against a gay couple because of his religious beliefs.

The Supreme Court in the UK is also considering the case of a bakery in Northern Ireland who refused to bake a cake displaying a message of support for same-sex marriage, which is still not legal in that part of the UK. Lower courts have ruled the bakers’ behaviour to be discriminatory.

Sasha Patrick and Moe Barr live in Brisbane, Australia, but planned to get married in New Zealand on January 19, 2019 (Image courtesy of Moe Barr)

Barr decided to make the email exchange public to warn others to avoid the baker, whose Facebook page is no longer available. Kath’s Devine Cakes has not responded to a request for comment from PinkNews.

“I think it’s important to share because we didn’t want it to happen to someone else, someone who might not have the same amount of support we have,” Barr explained. “With marriage equality only being recently legalised (both in NZ and AUS) I think it’s important to show people that discrimination in any form is wrong and should not be tolerated,” she added.