Friday, May 17, 2013
Recent events surrounding my interaction with a potential client have sparked a nationwide media controversy that looks to not be subsiding. I feel the need to address my friends and family in the Hood River community regarding my position in the escalating argument surrounding this contentious issue.
First and foremost, the media is misrepresenting me and the conversation I had with Katie Pugh. In my telephone exchange with her, it was clear that we held vastly differing opinions on this issue.
I take my position from my religious principles, and not out of my feelings for her as a person and she stated she understood that. We ended the conversation in a civil manner; I told her I was willing to make her a birthday cake or anything else she might want.
I did not refuse her service, but merely stated that I do not endorse same-sex marriage, and that it is not legal in Oregon, where her event is planned (in Hood River).
I mentioned that she may want to pursue the talents of another baker that would work to make her day everything she wanted it to be. She stated that though we do not agree, she respects me and my opinions, as I do her and hers.
In an email exchange I had with Katie Pugh following the release of the KATU piece, Katie stated that she and her partner did not contact the press. Some things were also edited from her interview, as she told me in an email that she stated to KATU that I was “a lovely person.”
Regarding the KATU report, the reporter asked me for answers to his questions. I declined to comment on the law without the advice of a lawyer, in lieu of a succinct recorded statement — which was truncated and played without context. My words were not in answer to the reporter’s question, but KATU carefully edited them to look as though they were.
I do want to take this time to comment on the means with which this now vitriolic and bitter attack on me has played out.
Katie Pugh and her partner have said that they did not contact the media; however, the media has become heavily involved.
After KATU’s piece — which misrepresents the discussion Katie and I had — was released, the national media and bloggers grabbed the story and ran with it for the benefit of their website page views and media ratings.
It has provided the drama that satiates the desires of these media outlets. In the wake of the rapidly spreading misrepresentations, groups of people have organized under the banner of the greater good to attack my business; my personal and business Facebook pages; and my personal blog.
Some people, not including Katie Pugh or her partner, are spreading my contact information to others, encouraging personal attacks and bullying. I have been receiving voice mails and email messages wishing for the destruction of my business and my own death.
It saddens me to see the lack of care, concern and discourse with our fellow human beings in our modern world. The disconnect that the internet provides these hateful attackers allows them to say horrific things to me and about me with little regard for the fact that we are all humans and we are all the same.
I cannot force Katie Pugh to abide by what I believe, neither can she nor anyone who supports her force me to do the same.
Pam Regentin of Mt. Hood owns Fleur Cakes. She recently declined to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple.