2017-03-07 18:56:32 UTC
that God hates white American Christians because of his refusal
Antigay Oregon Bakers Appeal, Claim Religious Freedom Was
The Oregon bakers who were found guilty of discrimination and
fined for refusing to serve a same-sex couples wedding have
are appealing the decision, claiming it violated their
constitutional rights to freedom of speech and religion.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa,
filed their case with the Oregon Court of Appeals Monday,
challenging a 2014 ruling by the states Bureau of Labor and
The bureau found that the Kleins had violated Oregons
antidiscrimination law by refusing to provide a cake for the
2013 wedding of Rachel Cryer-Bowman and Laurel Bowman-Cryer.
Last year the bureau ordered the Kleins to pay a fine of
$135,000 for the emotional harm they caused to the lesbian
couple. Their action, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian wrote,
was more than the denial of the product. ... It was the
epitome of being told there are places you cannot go, things
you cannot do or be.
The bakers resisted paying the fine for several months, despite
raising nearly half a million dollars through a crowdfunding
campaign, but they finally delivered the money, plus interest,
at the end of the year.
In their filing with the appeals court, the bakers claim that
the bureau misinterpreted Oregon law, which bans discrimination
based on sexual orientation. They say, as they did in arguments
before an administrative law judge with the bureau, that they
were not discriminating against the lesbian couple because of
their orientation, but were refusing to participate in a
celebration that violated their Christian beliefs. The bureau
found this a specious argument, ruling that weddings are
inextricably linked to ... sexual orientation. The Kleins
contend this ruling was mistaken.
Their document also claims that Avakian made numerous comments
in the media about the case before he ruled, showing he had a
bias against them. In a televised interview, the Commissioner
opined that the Kleins likely violated the law because
regardless of ones religious belief, if you open up a store,
and you open it up to the public to sell goods, you cannot
discriminate in Oregon. The Kleins further say the amount of
damages was excessive and that their free speech rights have
been violated because the bureau ordered them not to
discriminate against same-sex couples in the future.
A press release issued by the bakers and their lawyers today
asserts that the Kleins lost their bakery for running their
business according to their religious beliefs. This is
misleading at best, as The New Civil Rights Movement notes:
The Kleins of course did not lose their business at all.
Unless they have sold it or somehow let it lapse, they still
own the Sweet Cakes by Melissa trademark. Years ago they chose
to close their storefront shop and take their cake baking
business online, where you today can buy a cake, a wedding
cake, cupcakes, and other baked goods: Sweet Cakes.