The Plot Thickens|in Gay Cake Scandal

     AUSTIN, Texas (CN) — Whole Foods countersued a gay pastor who accused it of selling him a cake with “Love Wins Fag” written on it in icing instead of the “Love Wins” message he ordered.
     Pastor Jordan Brown sued Whole Foods Market on Monday in Travis County Court.
     Brown is an openly gay African-American and the founder and lead pastor of the Church of Open Doors, a non-denominational Christian church in Austin.
     Whole Foods replied on Tuesday in a filing “with affirmative defenses, counter-claim, [request for] sanctions, and request for disclosure.”
     In his original complaint, Brown said he went to the bakery at the Whole Foods flagship store in Austin on April 14 and asked for a cake with “Love Wins” written in icing on it.
     He said he was given the cake in a box, and that after he left the store he saw that a bakery employee had written “Love Wins Fag” on it.
     Brown said he complained to Whole Foods, which did not properly address the incident.
     “Approximately two hours later, [Whole Foods team leader Geoff] Nunez called back and said that Whole Foods had come to the conclusion that the store had not done anything wrong, and that their bakery associate had done nothing wrong,” Brown said in the complaint.
     He said he “spent the remainder of the day in tears.”
     Whole Foods Market Rocky Mountain/Southwest denied Brown’s claims in their entirety in a statement Tuesday, and asserted a counter-claim of defamation.
     “The counter-defendant, Jordan Brown, intentionally, knowingly, and falsely accused Whole Foods and its employees of writing the homosexual slur ‘Fag’ on a custom made cake that he ordered from WFM’s Lamar Store, in Austin, TX,” the petition states.
     “WFM and their employees did not put this slur on the cake. The cake was in the sole possession and control of Mr. Brown from the time it left WFM until he posted a video showing the slur and publishing his false statement to the general public. Mr. Brown acted with malice and he has damaged the reputation and business of WFM,” according to the counter-complaint.
     In its separate statement Tuesday, Whole Foods said that the bakery worker who allegedly wrote the gay slur on the cake “is part of the LGBTQ community.”
     “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. That’s exactly how the cake was packaged and sold at the store,” Whole Foods said in the statement.”We appreciate the team members and shoppers who recognize that this claim is completely false and directly contradicts Whole Foods Market’s inclusive culture, which celebrates diversity.”
     Whole Foods demands $100,000 in its counter-claim and says Brown should take nothing. It also seeks sanctions for Brown’s attorney, Austin Kaplan.
     “Austin Kaplan has signed the original petition in this matter which is groundless, brought in bad faith and intended for the sole purpose of harassment. This pleading was also filed without any investigation into the facts of the truthfulness of the statement. WFM requests sanctions under CPRC Ch. 9 and 10; and TRCP 13,” Whole Foods said.
     The Austin American-Statesman reported that Kaplan’s office told it it is investigating Whole Foods’ claims that it has evidence proving that Brown’s allegations are false.
     Whole Foods Market Rocky Mountain/Southwest is represented by Jay Warren and John Hempfling in Austin.

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