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.


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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