Massive fine levied against Oregon bakery owners

By WND Staff

Lesbian wedding cake

An Oregon administrative law judge today ordered former bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in fines for declining to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple due to their religious beliefs.

Administrative judge Alan McCullough for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said the Kleins violated an Oregon statute prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The lesbian couple will receive the funds for “emotional, mental, and physical suffering.”

“What happened today is an egregious assault on the freedom Americans have to peaceably live their lives according to their beliefs,” said Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins. “An Oregon judge made clear in no uncertain terms to the Kleins and all Oregonians that the state has the right to demand that citizens engage in activities that violate their beliefs and if they refuse, they will lose their ability to make a living. In a free country, this is a ruling that cannot and must not stand.”

Bureau prosecutors sought $75,000 for each woman – $150,000 total – during a hearing on damages in March. Under the current ruling, Rachel Bowman-Cryer should collect $75,000 and her “wife,” Laurel Bowman-Cryer, will collect $60,000. The couple testified in March to the emotional stress they attributed to their experience with Sweet Cakes, including the glare of media attention that followed.

See the Complete catalogue of ‘same-sex marriage’ entrapments.

Aaron Klein also testified that his family had suffered because of the case. Reporters came to his home, his company car was vandalized and broken into twice, and photographers and florists severed ties with the business. The Kleins were forced to close their storefront in Gresham, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, in 2013 shortly after the lesbian couple filed a civil rights complaint against them. At that time, same-sex marriage still wasn’t legal in Oregon.

The recommended fines are not final. State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian has the final authority to raise, lower or leave the proposed damages as is.

The ruling, with its order that the Kleins be “rehabilitated” and “reeducated,” is more consistent with the actions of a fascist state than of a democracy, said Perkins. “A government able to bankrupt people for standing by their deepest beliefs is a government of unbridled power and a threat to everyone’s freedom,” he concluded.

A fundraiser has been set up for the Kleins.

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