Local Wal-Mart refuses to write “gay” on prom-posal cake

Last month, the Internet got a dose of awesome when Jacob Lescenski, who is straight, asked Anthony Martinez, his best friend, to prom.

Martinez had been down on prom because, despite being on student council and charged with planning the event, he didn’t have a date. Lescenski changed that with an incredible promposal:

Lescenski and Martinez’s date to the prom went viral, and Teen Vogue documented their preparations for the event:

However, at least one organization was not pleased: Lescenski and Martinez’s local Wal-Mart.

According to KVVU Las Vegas, when Martinez’s aunt, Jennifer Sandoval, went to the local superstore to buy a cake that read: “You’re gay, he’s straight, you’re going to prom, you couldn’t have had a better date,” she was told that her couplet that riffed off of Lescenski’s original proposal wouldn’t work. Apparently, writing the word “gay” on a cake was against store policy.

When she appealed to the manager, she was again told that she would need to come up with a different message. She went with “You matter, prom kings.”

Wal-Mart has since said that “proper management” was not contacted and that nowhere in its store’s policy does it say that you can’t write “gay” on a cake. They have also said that they will reach out to Martinez to correct the issue.

Seriously, what is the deal with cakes?

It’s safe to say that the word “gay” is not officially banned by Wal-Mart, if for no other reason than the fact that the company recently came out strongly against Indiana’s Religious Freedom bill — a bill that was written to cover these specific instances of funfetti-flavored anti-gay idiocy. It’s also safe to say that the company has provided cakes for at least a few gay weddings by now. If they really did have a sugar-based anti-gay policy, we would have heard about it already.

Still, what made the cake-maker and manager at this particular Wal-Mart think that they weren’t allowed to write “gay”? How could whatever policy the store has in place on taboo cake messages be interpreted to make “gay” off-limits?

Maybe there’s nothing wrong with Wal-Mart’s policies, and the folks at this particular Wal-Mart had deeply-held religious objections to these two kids going to prom together. They just didn’t feel like explicitly saying so would have been appropriate, because it wouldn’t have been. If that’s the case, they need to get over themselves. It’s a cake. You’re at Wal-Mart. There are religious beliefs that you hold more deeply that you can go exercise somewhere else.

In any case, Jacob and Anthony went to prom together and it was amazing and heartwarming and you should watch the Teen Vogue clip posted above because it will make your day.

</rant>


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • RepubAnon

    What happens when someone revives the worship of the old Aztec gods?

    Perhaps even worse off was the impersonator of Xipe Totec who, at the climax of the festival of Tlacaxipehualiztli, was skinned to honour the god who was himself known as the ‘Flayed One’. (Source: Aztec Sacrifice

    Does preventing human sacrifice deny religious freedom to Xipe Totec’s worshippers?

  • Buford

    Here’s the deal, people… you can hold all the ridiculous ‘deep religious beliefs’ you want when your livelihood is not dependent upon your interacting with the rest of society. If your job requires you to interact with society, you will do so by the govt’s laws of equality, non-dsicmination, and inclusion… and if you are conflicted by that, go find a different way to make a living which mitigates this conflict.

    You will not, however, force us to bend our laws to accommodate your religious lifestyle choices.

  • WhateverMan

    The aunt made a mistake in not insisting she speak with the store manager.

  • DGT

    More than anything, these two kids show us how much the GOP is on the wrong side of history. Being gay (or not) is just not a big deal to young people.

  • Judy Zdzinnicki

    Because of religious nuts like you. You can not possibly know what God or his son are thinking. To presume you do is a sin.

  • What if you wanted some of the lyrics to “Deck the Halls” on a cake?

  • Oh, I’m sure if they shopped the case around, they could find a George W. Bush appointed judge that would rule in their favor without even a second thought.

  • Thom Allen

    Walmart needs to have meetings in each store with all of the personnel explaining that the word “gay” on cakes and elsewhere (except when being used as a derogatory epithet) is OK. And that if the employees fail to follow that policy, they may be subject to discipline.

    Those at Walmart who are working and demonstrating for higher wages expect the support of the customer base, activists, gays, the general public and others to achieve their ends. They need to realize that they should be returning the favor when other groups are singled out for abuse or discrimination.

  • Indigo

    Couldn’t be crazier. I bet she’s off her meds. Good catch!

  • nicho

    I got your religious nutballery right here:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nebraska-woman-sues-all-homosexuals-liers-thieves-n354301

    A Nebraska woman identifying herself as the “ambassador” for plaintiffs “God and His Son, Jesus Christ,” is suing all homosexuals on Earth for breaking “religious and moral laws,” according to court records filed Tuesday.

    In the suit, entered into the docket as Driskell v. Homosexuals, Sylvia Ann Driskell, 66, of Auburn, Nebraska, asks in a seven-page, neatly handwritten petition (PDF) that U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard decide once and for all whether homosexuality is or isn’t a sin.

    The suit doesn’t cite any case law under which a judge could make such a determination. In fact, it cites no court cases at all, quoting Webster’s Dictionary and numerous Bible verses, instead, to bolster Driskell’s central contention, which is:

    “That homosexuality is a sin and that they the homosexuals know it is a sin to live a life of homosexuality. Why else would they have been hiding in the closet.”

  • WildwoodGuy

    Couldn’t happen soon enough for me!

  • Indigo

    Perhaps soon narcissistic religionism will be recognized as a sociopathic disorder and treated as such.

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