The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled against Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery who in 2013 refused to design and bake a cake celebrating a lesbian couple’s same-sex wedding. The Klein’s felt that by designing and making the cake to celebrate the same-sex wedding in 2013 would violate their Christian faith and beliefs.
The Oregon Court of Appeals has maintained a ruling against Aaron and Melissa Klein, ordering them to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple whose wedding cake the Klein’s refused to make, says The Blaze. The Blaze also quotes KGW-TV saying, “The court did reverse one decision that said bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein violated state law by communicating their intent to discriminate against gay couples in the future.”
The hefty financial penalty enforced by Oregon Bureau of Labour and Industries ultimately forced the Klein’s to close their bakery. The Klein’s have received support from religious rights legal group First Liberty Institute who defended them before the court.
“Freedom of expression for ourselves should require freedom of expression for others. Today, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided that Aaron and Melissa Klein are not entitled to the Constitution’s promises of religious liberty and free speech,” First Liberty CEO Kelly Shackelford stated.
This years long legal battle has taken a toll on the Klein’s, as well as their kids. The Klein’s receive hate mail and threats, and due to the financial burden, they were forced to close down their bakery storefront. Melissa now sells bakery items exclusively online, and Aaron had to find work as a garbage collector to pay the bills.
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