A Dairy Queen franchise in Canada has apologised for turning away a customer’s request for a personalised birthday cake with ‘Happy Birthday Lesbian’ written on it on the grounds of it being “too sexual in nature.” The employee serving the customer informed her that the store is a “family establishment” and turned her away. The owner later apologised for the employee’s actions.

Summer Gibbons and her sister Gracie went through the drive through at Dairy Queen in Cochrane. They placed an order for an ice cream cake with the words ‘Happy Birthday Lesbian’ written on it. The manager of the store then stepped in and declined to do the cake, even though the employee had already accepted the order.

“I’ve known I was gay since grade seven and came out two years ago and it’s definitely something I was always worried about happening,” Gibbons said. “We shouldn’t be hiding [the word ‘lesbian’] from people.”

“It was upsetting watching her feel that especially on her birthday and I was worried about her,” said her sister Gracie. “She felt embarrassed and ashamed and she should never have to feel that for who she is.”

“I’m a gay man and to know there’s all that aggression and attack towards the gay community, it opens my eyes,” said Liam Armsworthy, Gibbons’ friend and roommate. “This stuff still happens.”

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 “Our intent is to create custom cakes that are inclusive and non-discriminatory, which is why we have a policy that custom cake orders can only include inclusive and non-discriminatory language. After talking with fans and employees, I acknowledge we did not properly follow our policy,” said owner Tim Morrison.

“ Minds can open up and change if we talk and listen, rather than outright label[ling] them as bigots,” said one Twitter user, after the news came out.

“He knows what he said was wrong. We are all human and make mistakes,” Gibbons said. She accepted Morrison’s apology and said that she will not vilify the owner.

“I am truly sorry for the harm we caused,” Morrison said. “I will be retraining the team on custom cake orders.”

“I respect his apology, maybe he can get retrained himself,” Gibbons said. She eventually went to buy a customised birthday cake from another Dairy Queen franchise without any issues.

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