Christian Bakers Who Refused To Bake Same-Sex Wedding Cake Lose Appeal Of $135,000 Fine
Years after they refused to bake a same-sex wedding cake, the Oregon Court of Appeals has upheld the decision that forced two Christian bakers to pay a hefty fine of $135,000 to a lesbian couple.
Back in January 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, reportedly refused to bake a wedding cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer because to do so would have conflicted with their deeply held religious beliefs.
Shortly thereafter, the Bowman-Cryers filed a complaint against the owners of the Gresham, Oregan bakery.
Fast-forward to July of 2015, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ordered the Kleins to pay a fine of $135,000 in damages for intentionally causing emotional distress to the Bowman-Cryers.
Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian said:
“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal."
Although the Klein's went on to appeal the ruling (after closing their business), just yesterday, the Oregon Court of Appeals let stand the Avakian's order to pay the fine to the Bowman-Cryers.
According to Oregon Live, Judge Chris Garrett wrote that Avakian's order does not violate the Klein's free speech rights because it simply "requires their compliance with a neutral law." Garrett also wrote that the Kleins "have made no showing that the state targeted them for enforcement because of their religious beliefs."
In a statement issued through their attorney, the Bowman-Cryers said the ruling affirms, "the long-standing idea that discrimination has no place in America."