Just one week after UpRising Bakery, a Lake in the Hills business, was extensively vandalized and forced to cancel a brunch event featuring drag performers, local officials are abandoning their support for the shop and owner and forcing owner Corinna Bendel Sac to cancel all future special events critical to sustaining the business. The sudden shift came in a meeting for Ms. Sac with Village officials this week, followed by a letter that threatens fines and other actions if Ms. Sac doesn’t immediately cancel all of her upcoming events.

These developments create a victory for hateful, anti-LGBTQ+ voices who attacked the owner and bakery after coverage of the drag brunch. In response to these changes, the ACLU of Illinois yesterday sent a letter to Lake in the Hills officials urging them to cease their threats against the bakery.

Last week, UpRising and Ms. Sac were hosting a “Starry Night Brunch Drag” show at the store. The event, which was sold out, was advertised as a family-friendly evening with food and drink from the bakery. After a series of protests and a campaign of in-person and online harassment, the shop was vandalized on the evening before the event forcing cancellation of the show. Responding to support from the community, including from Lake in the Hills officials, Ms. Sac moved forward with plans for a Disney Karaoke night on Saturday, July 30. 

“Village officials initially seemed inclined to support Ms. Sac and her business in the wake of this horrific event,” said the ACLU letter signed by Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Glenberg. “Unfortunately, they have chosen instead to give the person who attacked and vandalized UpRising exactly what he apparently wanted.” 

On Thursday, Ms. Sac was summoned to a meeting with Village officials and informed that protecting the bakery had become too costly for the Village, and told her that events at the bakery could violate zoning laws.. The letter notes that the “sudden determination to enforce the code against UpRising or Mr. Sac based on their exercise of First Amendment Rights constitutes unconstitutional retaliation.”

In response to the threats from the Lake in the Hills officials, Ms. Sac was forced to cancel the Karaoke event as well as a resume-writing worship to help community members. The Village also aims to force cancellation of the rescheduled drag show as well as a “Sip and Paint Party” (an art instruction event) for August 6th

The letter notes that “every cancelled event costs UpRising money that it desperately needs to recover from last week’s attack during a challenging economic environment.”