ACLU says UpRising Bakery will be allowed to host events going forward

The village of Lake in the Hills and UpRising Bakery and Cafe reached an agreement Thursday that will allow the bakery to continue holding events within the city's zoning code, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois said.

"We are elated to have come to a mutual agreement with the village of Lake in the Hills," UpRising owner Corinna Bendel Sac said in a Thursday news release from the ACLU of Illinois. "We look forward to getting back to baking and holding community centered events."

In an emailed statement Thursday night, Village Administrator Shannon Andrews said that "the village is pleased that through collaborative efforts with representatives for UpRising Bakery and Café, we were able to identify a mutually satisfactory approach going forward which honors the village's zoning concerns."

ACLU attorney Kevin Fee said the agreement is "good news" for the community, and he called it a "victory for free speech."

"We applaud village officials for their willingness to quickly engage in thoughtful discussion leading to this understanding that allows UpRising to continue to service their mission of being a community resource for all people."

The dispute between the village and bakery began after the business was vandalized early on the morning of July 23. The vandalism came the night before the bakery was scheduled to host a family-friendly drag show, which itself attracted much attention and harassment. As part of that, the show was expected to see both protests and counter protests.

A week after that vandalism, which saw the community give an outpouring of support, the village told Bendel Sac that she could not host events as it violated the village's zoning code.

"Village officials supported Ms. Sac and her business in the immediate wake of this horrific event," Fee said in the release. "Today's agreement ensures an equitable and fair resolution moving forward, and recognizes that violent extremists cannot dictate the discussion in our society."

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