Wal-Mart Employees Refuse To Write The Word ‘Gay’ On Prom Cake

A Wal-Mart store in Las Vegas refused to write the word “gay” in the message of a cake celebrating two boys whose “promposal” went viral last week, television station KVVU reported on Monday.

Two teenage boys — one gay, one straight — received national attention and support over a video in which the straight friend, Jacob Lescenski, asked his gay best friend, Anthony Martinez, to prom, according to KVVU.

As a surprise before the dance, Martinez’s aunt, Jennifer Sandoval, went to Wal-Mart on Saturday to get a cake in commemoration of the event, according to the station. However, she was told her request couldn’t be granted when she attempted to have this message written on the cake: “You’re gay, he’s straight, you’re going to prom, you couldn’t have had a better date.”

“One word – ‘gay’ – which is the meaning of happy – isn’t going to harm putting that on a cake,” Sandoval told KVVU.

According to Sandoval, she was told it was against store policy to have the word “gay” written on a cake. When Sandoval reportedly asked to speak to a supervisor, the message was repeated.

“Supervisor takes my phone, looks at it, and was like stuck for a minute, and she was like, ‘OK, I’m sorry, we can’t use this,” Sandoval said. “And then I said, ‘I’m going to ask you what I asked her because you’re the supervisor. Why can’t I use this? I don’t understand. It’s one word. It’s gay.”

The eventual cake message read: “You matter, prom kings,” according to KVVU.

The station reached out to Wal-Mart and was told that appropriate management was never contacted with the issue. Wal-Mart also told KVVU that there is no store policy prohibiting the use of the word “gay” in a cake message.

While KVVU was told a spokesperson would contact Sandoval, she said she had yet to hear anything from Wal-Mart.

“It wasn’t hurtful,” Sandoval said. “It was to make my nephew happy, to see a smile on his face. I love that smile, to see that smile, that’s all I wanted, and I’m disappointed. I really am.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at ahiza@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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