Metro Weekly

Anti-gay bakery ordered to pay $135,000 to lesbian couple

Sweet Cakes was given a final order to pay damages

Sweet Cakes Aaron and Melissa Klein

Credit: Facebook

Sweet Cakes by Melissa, the Oregon bakery that discriminated against a lesbian couple by refusing to make their wedding cake, is being ordered to pay damages.

The bakery refused to bake a cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer in January 2013. In April this year, a judge ruled that the bakery had discriminated against the couple and suggested damages of $135,000. Now, the Bureau of Labor and Industries has affirmed that amount, ordering Sweet Cakes to pay it, KGW reports.

“This has been a horrible ordeal for our entire family,” the couple said in a statement. “We never imagined finding ourselves caught up in a fight for social justice. We knew it was on us to set an example for our two kids — to stand up for what is right.”

Aaron and Melissa Klein, who own Sweet Cakes, tried to fight the ruling on the grounds of their religion. However, both the judge and Bureau were unconvinced by their argument. The couple intends to appeal the decision.

“The first amendment guarantees my right to freedom of speech,” Aaron Klein said. “We are looking forward to getting [the case] in a court that recognizes the constitution…. When you have [a government] that tells you what you have to say in this situation it should scare everybody.”

“According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech,” Melissa Klein wrote on her Facebook. “We will NOT give up this fight, and we will NOT be silenced. We stand for God’s truth, God’s word and freedom for ALL americans [sic].”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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