Legal Case Study: Kudler Fine Foods

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Kudler Fine Foods, established in June of 1998, was founded by Kathy Kudler in La Jolla, California. After working as the Vice-President of Marketing for a defense contracting company, Kathy desired a change of pace that would allow her to stay in one place and relieve pressure of the corporate world. She stumbled upon an opportunity to create a market for gourmet epicurean food in her area, and took the necessary steps to make her dream come true. After her first store received tremendous success, she expanded the company to add two additional locations in the state of California. However, her personal beliefs may have become an obstruction that may jeopardize the future success of the business that she has raised from ground up.
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A fellow anchor was interviewing Mr. Dwight and Mr. Weathers, and both stated that they felt unjustly discriminated against, and despite their sexuality, should be treated as any other paying customer. They cited a similar case that occurred recently, quoted as “A wedding photographer in New Mexico became the target of successful legal action when she refused to provide photography services at a same-sex wedding ceremony. In a case that has become a poster child for the movement against same-sex marriage, the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights ruled that the state’s public accommodation law prohibited a Methodist organization that operated a boardwalk pavilion, held open for events by people of all faiths, from excluding a same-sex commitment ceremony” (Lupu & Tuttle, 2010, p. 275). Kathy became infuriated, wondering how her actions could have caused such a rift between anyone. She immediately called her attorney and scheduled an emergency meeting for the following morning, but was ultimately advised to reverse her decision and offer a public apology to both the couple and the LGBT community. Her attorney was confident that this approach would essentially put out the blossoming PR fire before it blazed even hotter and gained national news …show more content…
Taking his advice, she decided to stick to her guns and continue to refuse catering the wedding. Ms. Kudler held firm her stance of representing her deeply rooted beliefs within her business, and despite the counseling she received, felt that she has no choice other than to fight the opposing force. However, she had no idea of the storm that was brewing. A hypothetical example written by former justice, Chai Feldblum, told of a guesthouse owner refusing to serve a gay couple based on his religious beliefs. The outcome of his legal battle did not end in his favor. “The court rules that the law places no burden on your religious beliefs because your religion does not require you to operate a guesthouse. You are ordered to change your guesthouse 's rules” (Feldblum, 2006, p. 62). The engaged couple, in response, filed an official suit of discrimination against both Kathy as well as Kudler Fine Foods. The story was quickly picked up by national news sources, gaining the attention of TV personalities such as Nancy Grace and networks Fox News and CNN. Her actions gained support across the country from religious institutions and right-wingers, whilst Dwight and Weathers gained support from the LGBT community, several human rights activist groups and even some Democratic

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