"No Hors D’Oeuvres For You: California Caterer Refuses To Work Same-Sex Wedding"
Janet Zimmerman, a caterer in California, refused to provide the catering for a same-sex wedding because of her “Christian beliefs,” and it may have been legal for her to do so. Back in November, Kama Kaina reached out to Zimmerman to provide the food for his wedding to longtime partner Matthew Rivera. After initially agreeing, she replied a few hours later explaining that she could not serve the couple:
Thank you for contacting me in regards to your upcoming wedding. I really appreciate that you were honest with me and gave me a heads up that this would be a same sex marriage. I hope that you will also appreciate when I am honest with you when I say that catering your wedding would comprise [sic] my Christian beliefs and I will be unable to accept this job. I am sure that you will be able to find someone who will better suit your needs.
As The Advocate points out in its report, Zimmerman’s discrimination against the same-sex couple may have been legal. It’s true that California law prohibits public accommodations and businesses from discrimination, but the same provision is not included in state policy regarding individuals licensed to render services. In other words, her business may be small enough that it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the nondiscrimination protections.
Kaina and Rivera are not pursuing legal action, but are still searching for a caterer for their June wedding.