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Chicago's Sweet Cakes Bakery Mistaken for Anti-Gay Oregon Shop

By Alisa Hauser | May 1, 2015 5:35am

NOBLE SQUARE — A father-and-daughter duo, whose bakery shares the same name as a shop that elicited national outrage when its owners refused to create a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, wants to get the word out that their views are not the same as that Oregon baker's.

"We want people to know we are not that Sweet Cakes," said Emily Smith, who runs Sweet Cakes at 1223 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Noble Square with her father, Vern Smith.

Though the Smiths are across the country from Sweet Cakes by Melissa, run by husband-and-wife team Melissa and Aaron Klein, their bakery's strong presence on Twitter has caused it to be the target of "really awful, hateful tweets," Emily Smith said Thursday.

"People are calling us bigots and say we should rot in hell and are tweeting Bible quotes to us [on Twitter]," said Emily Smith.

Before "flagging" the tweets as inappropriate, Emily Smith said that sometimes she will respond and say stuff like "everyone's money is good here." 

She added, "I'm trying really hard to keep it from being overpolitical."

In two back-to-back tweets on Tuesday, a user named @Beneslaw tweeted to Chicago's Sweet Cakes, "God says homosexuality is a sin. Christians are dying for their faith. Can't we respect & not vilify. God said ALL hv sinned.Rom 3:23 It's not jdg or to prevent gay weddings, but a desire not to participate. Liberty."

Smith replied, "wrong Sweet Cakes Bakery! We believe love, gay or straight, deserves to be celebrated!"

Sweet Cakes by Melissa is active on Facebook but does not have a Twitter account. 

To help show their support of the gay community, Smith said that she is planning to donate cupcakes to the Center on Halsted, which has a LGBT drop-in for teens on Fridays, at which a former Sweet Cakes bakery worker used to volunteer.

"As long as someone can pick up the cupcakes from here every week, we are happy to donate cupcakes to the teens every Friday, forever. Amen!"  Smith said.

Vern Smith said he was unaware of all of the online controversy, which erupted last week when GoFundMe removed the Klein crowdfunding campaign to raise money to pay off a court-ordered $135,000 fine. The Kleins lost a civil lawsuit filed by the same-sex couple whose business they turned way.

"I don't usually scan for things on the Web, so I Googled Sweet Cakes after talking with Emily, and up came our Google listing. While all of the info in it was all correct, on the lefthand side there were 10 things about Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon, and none were positive in tone," Vern Smith said.

A screen shot of two different tweets related to two different Sweet Cakes. [DNAInfo/Alisa Hauser]

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