DES MOINES, Iowa, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A lesbian couple in Iowa say they were taken aback when the baker they approached for their wedding cake declined on religious grounds.
Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers, who are engaged to be married, went to Des Moines baker Victoria Childress last Thursday to discuss the cake they'd like for the wedding they're planning for next June. But Childress said she wouldn't take their order.
Childress said once it became clear the two women intended to marry, she was upfront and polite about her personal beliefs and rights as a business owner.
"I said, 'We need to talk,'" Childress told Des Moines' KCCI-TV. "I said, 'I'll tell you I'm a Christian, and I do have convictions.' And I said, 'I'm sorry to tell you, but I'm not going to be able to do your cake."
Vodraska and Sievers were surprised.
"I don't think either one of us knew what to say. We were just shocked," Sievers said.
"It shouldn't be a gay or straight issue. It's a people issue."
Vodraska said she felt the baker's response "was degrading."
"It was like she chastised us for wanting to do business with her," Vodraska said. "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."
But Childress is standing by her religious convictions.
"It is my right as a business owner. It is my right, and it's not to discriminate against them," she said. "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."