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Lake in the Hills won’t fine bakery that planned family-friendly drag show, allowing events to resume

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 8/4/2022 Madeline Buckley, Chicago Tribune
Customers enter UpRising Bakery and Cafe on July 21, 2022 in Lake in the Hills. © Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS Customers enter UpRising Bakery and Cafe on July 21, 2022 in Lake in the Hills.

A far northwest suburb has agreed to allow a local bakery to continue holding events after backing off its threat to penalize the establishment in the wake of an onslaught of harassment leveled at the shop because of a planned kid-friendly drag show, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and suburban officials.

The agreement allows Corinna Sac, owner of UpRising Bakery and Cafe in Lake in the Hills, to reschedule the drag brunch that she had canceled after the bakery was vandalized, and she can continue holding other events. Lake in the Hills officials had previously told her they considered entertainment events a violation of local zoning rules and they threatened code violations if she were to continue hosting them.

“We are elated to have come to a mutual agreement with the Village of Lake in the Hills,” Sac said in a news release from the ACLU.

Last month, Sac planned a drag brunch designed to be appropriate for children, but said she received angry calls, insults and threats, and in one case, a bag of feces that was left outside the shop. Far right groups have frequently targeted family-friendly drag events.

Sac was forced to cancel the show after the bakery was broken into and graffitied with slurs the night before the show was set to take place on July 23. Lake in the Hills police arrested Joseph Collins, 24, of Alsip, and he was charged with a class 4 felony hate crime and criminal damage to property.

After that, Lake in the Hills officials drew controversy when they sent Sac a letter that threatened to take action against the bakery if it continued to hold events, including issuing fines of up to $750 per day and suspending or revoking any business or liquor licenses. Officials said they had received complaints from other nearby businesses and residents and considered entertainment events a violation of local zoning rules.


Video: UpRising Bakery reaches agreement with Lake in the Hills to host drag brunch (CBS Chicago)

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Sac has said her bakery has always held a variety of community events and had never been informed it was a problem.

The ACLU blasted Lake in the Hills, calling the village’s stance “unconstitutional retaliation” in a letter sent to officials.

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

The ACLU in a news release said the agreement “denies a potential victory to violent extremists that objected to UpRising’s support for the LGBTQ+ community.”

“Today’s agreement ensures an equitable and fair resolution moving forward, and recognizes that violent extremists cannot dictate the discussion in our society,” said Kevin Fee, an ACLU attorney, in the release.

UpRising plans to hold a previously scheduled drag brunch on Sunday, according to Sac. The bakery will also reschedule the canceled “Starry Night Brunch Drag” show at a later date.

mabuckley@chicagotribune.com

©2022 Chicago Tribune. Visit chicagotribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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