An openly gay pastor who claimed that a grocery store bakery wrote a homophobic message on his cake has dropped his lawsuit against Whole Foods, claiming he made up the story, according to news reports.
“I apologize to the LGBT community for diverting attention from real issues,” Pastor Jordan Brown said in a statement, according to the ABC affiliate in Austin and other news reports.
Brown normally preaches about love and acceptance, with a particular focus on outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians, at the church he leads in Austin. But after he picked up a cake in April that was supposed to say “Love Wins,” he turned to preaching in the media, and in court.
His allegation was widely reported: The cake said “Love Wins,” the celebratory phrase for gay relationships that he had ordered, but then included a hurtful slur.
Whole Foods denied the accusation, answering Brown’s lawsuit against the grocery store with a countersuit and releasing a video that purported to show Brown buying a cake with the label on top of the box, not the side. Brown said he had not opened the box before he took the photo of the cake.
The company’s response to Brown’s statement on Monday was brief: “We’re very pleased that the truth has come to light. Given Mr. Brown’s apology and public admission that his story was a complete fabrication, we see no reason to move forward with our counter suit to defend the integrity of our brand and team members.”
Brown apologized to Whole Foods, “especially the baker associate who I understand was put in a terrible position because of my actions,” according to the ABC report.
He said he was “wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story.”