LONGWOOD, Fla. – A Central Florida baker said she is getting death threats after refusing to make a cake with a message against gay marriage. The man who placed the order recorded it and then posted it online.
Since then, Cut the Cake off U.S. Highway 17-92 in Longwood has been fielding calls from angry people across the country. The man who made the request is Joshua Feuerstein, a former pastor and social media personality.
Feuerstein told Local 6 over Skype that the purpose of the video was to create discussion.
"I need a sheet cake and I need it to say, 'We do not support gay marriage' [silence]," said Feuerstein in the video posted to his Facebook page earlier this week [full video below].
"He wanted us to put a hateful message on a cake and I said, 'We're not going to do that,'" Sharon Haller, owner of Cut the Cake, told Local 6.
Cut the Cake is a mom-and-pop shop now at the center of controversy over the phone call and video.
"For me, this is not about gay people; it's about religious freedom," Feuerstein said in the nearly 4-minute video.
Feuerstein told Local 6 over Skype that this was a social experiment following Indiana's new and controversial religious freedom law.
"I wanted to see if it was actually a double standard; if a gay-friendly bakery and one that advertised themselves as so on pro-LGBT wedding sites would actually bake a cake that went against their principles," said Feuerstein.
Haller said the experiment came at her expense.
"We started getting some hundreds of phone calls and making very nasty and negative gestures towards our business, towards us," said Haller.
"I never asked people to call, be hateful or boycott them," said Feuerstein.
The video depicting the request has gotten more than 1 million views on Facebook. Feuerstein said he took down the video after the bakery asked him to do so, but then the bakery shared it.
"If anything, I think this is going to help their business," said Feuerstein.
Haller told Local 6 she has been losing business as people are putting bad reviews online, so she is weighing her legal options not only over her losses but the recorded phone call, which is illegal in Florida.
There has been a GoFundMe page set up by the shop to help recover losses.
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