Pastor Jordan Brown skipped Sunday service for his small congregation after he accused Whole Foods Market of adding an anti-gay message on a cake he ordered last week.
On Sunday, Pastor Brown and the members of the Church of Open Doors were not present at their usual meeting place for their church service. A worker at the East Austin apartment complex said the group did not reserve their usual room for Sunday and added that he did not expect the small congregation to meet there after the gay pastor's allegations against Whole Foods backfired, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
On Monday, the gay pastor appeared in a news conference with his attorney Austin Kaplan and announced a lawsuit against Whole Foods. According to reports, Brown claimed he ordered a cake with the message "Love Wins" written on it but received a product reading "Love Wins Fag."
Brown posted a video explaining how he came across the anti-gay slur on his cake. He claimed that he has not opened the packaging and what happened was a form of discrimination.
Whole Foods, on the other hand, fought back and filed a counter-lawsuit demanding US$100,000 in damages. The company also released the video footage of the pastor's transaction to refute Brown's allegations.
"Our bakery team member wrote 'Love Wins' at the top of the cake, which was visible to Mr. Brown through the clear portion of the packaging," said Whole Foods in a statement. "That's exactly how the cake was packaged and sold at the store."
The company added that it strictly does not accept orders that include offensive language and the allegations go against their inclusive culture. In the point-by-point statement, Whole Foods said it stands by the bakery staff who handled the order. The firm also mentioned that the staff in question is a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.