UpRising Bakery, a Lake in the Hills business extensively vandalized after scheduling a brunch event featuring drag performers, will be able to host the rescheduled event and other programs after reaching an agreement with Lake in the Hills Village officials. UpRising owner Corinna Bendel Sac had been threatened with fines and the loss of her business license if she went forward with these events after a meeting with Village officials last week. The agreement reached today ends these threats and denies a potential victory to violent extremists that objected to UpRising’s support for the LGBTQ+ community. Under the agreement UpRising Bakery will be free to move forward with plans for future events, including the rescheduled drag event, in accord with current zoning laws.
“We are elated to have come to a mutual agreement with the Village of Lake in the Hills,” said Corinna Bendel Sac on behalf of the UpRising Crew. “UpRising Bakery and Cafe opened less than a year ago with the goal of providing a safe and welcoming 'home away from home' for all beings, we thank the community, ACLU, KRV legal, municipalities, and our families for helping us reach this goal. We look forward to getting back to baking and holding community centered events!”
“Today’s agreement is good news for the Lake in the Hills community and a victory for free speech,” said Kevin Fee, Senior Special Litigation Counsel at the ACLU of Illinois. “We applaud Village officials for their willingness to quickly engage in thoughtful discussions leading to this understanding that allows UpRising to continue to serve their mission of being a community resource for all people.”
UpRising and Ms. Sac planned to host 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.
After the village initially threatened to prohibit Ms. Sac from hosting certain events at UpRising, the ACLU of Illinois sent a letter to the Village on Ms. Sac’s behalf expressing concern that if UpRising was not able to reschedule the drag event and hold similar events in the future, the vandal and harassers would take this as confirmation of their power to silence speech.
“Village officials supported Ms. Sac and her business in the immediate wake of this horrific event,” added Fee. “Today’s agreement ensures an equitable and fair resolution moving forward, and recognizes that violent extremists cannot dictate the discussion in our society.”
“It is a show of good will and sincerity that we were able to reach this resolution without litigation.”