The Oregon Court of Appeals has essentially criminalized Christian values and slapped restrictions against the freedom of religion, by ruling in favor of a lesbian couple in a case involving a wedding cake.
The Klein family owned Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Washington State, and in 2013, refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding, citing their Christian beliefs. The couple sued, and the state ruled the Kleins must pay $135,000 in “emotional damages.”
The Oregon Court of Appeals just upheld that decision, so the Kleins will have to pay the lesbian couple who said they felt “mentally raped” when their wedding cake request was denied. By doing so, the court has ruled that religious beliefs can be called discrimination, and Christians who hold those beliefs can be punished.
Sweet Cakes by Melissa had to close their doors after the fine was levied, and a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to support the Kleins was shut down by GoFundMe, who called the campaign illegal.
“Freedom of expression for ourselves should require freedom of expression for others,” First Liberty Institute president Kelly Shackelford said.
First Liberty, one of the nation’s most prominent religious liberty law firms, represented the Kleins.
“The Oregon Court of Appeals decided that Aaron and Melissa Klein are not entitled to the Constitution’s promise of religious liberty and free speech,” Shackelford said.
The Kleins, who owned Sweet Cakes By Melissa, made national headlines in 2013 when they declined to make a wedding cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer.
The Kleins were subjected to a homofascist mob that boycotted their business, threatened other wedding vendors and subjected their young children to death threats.
The lesbian couple filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries – leading to a drawn-out court battle and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian waged a one-man, political jihad against the Kleins – demanding that they be rehabilitated – presumably because of their devout Christian beliefs regarding marriage.
After an administrative law judge ruled that the Kleins had violated a state law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, Avakian dropped the hammer – ordering the young family to pay $135,000 in fines.