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Sarasota baker refuses to use religion as excuse to turn away same-sex couples

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- Ron Zammit was raised a Christian. He believes the definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.

When a same-sex couple walks into his Sarasota bakery to design a wedding cake, though, personal beliefs are left at the door.

"I don't believe that I should judge them for being gay as well as judging someone for being a certain religion. That's not for me to do," says the owner of Cakes by Ron.

For 27 years, the only change for Zammit's business was people's taste in wedding cakes. Since same-sex marriage became legal in January, he estimates serving between 20 and 30 gay couples.

"It doesn't bother me one bit or another," says Zammit. "It's a wedding cake, and if they feel like they love each other and want to get married, more power to them."

Not everyone with the same faith has shown the same compassion. June's supreme court ruling has not come without controversy, especially from those using religion to justify their actions.

Kim Davis, a clerk of the courts in Kentucky, recently returned to work after a brief stint in jail after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the Supreme Court's June ruling. She admits christian faith has been driving her insubordination.

Zammit's interpretation of Christianity is a little different.

"As Christians, I think that we should be kind-hearted and show the love of God to people, not to be judging what they're doing," he says.

Sarasota Pride is a non-profit organization for anyone in the gay community who needs a business or social reference in the city. Chairman Cindy Barnes is grateful Sarasota businesses like Zammit's have remained professional.

"Thank the lord, we have not had one report of someone refusing service to anyone," she says. "We are very fortunate to live in a city where they are behind us, supported us from day 1, and were right with us when gay marriages were passed."

The open door policy at Cakes by Ron is already paying off, in the form of a new, loyal group of customers.

"If it's a gay couple's wedding, it makes others comfortable to know they would be accepted to come into a business like this and order a cake together."