BY: THE PLAID ZEBRA
In Portland, Oregon, The Bureau of Labor and Industries resolved that a wedding bakery would be forced to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple.
Sweet Cakes By Melissa cited that the couple’s lifestyle choice violated their religious belief, but being that a bakery is not a religious institution under law, their exclusion of the couple based on an inherent feature of their humanity wasn’t protected by religious freedom.
On July 2nd, a presiding judge ordered Melissa and Aaron Klein to pay $60,000 to Laurel Bowman-Cryer and $75,000 to her wife Rachel Bowman-Cryer under the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which protects the rights of the LGBTQ community.
While the instance has sparked a debate between equal rights advocates and religious freedom fighters, in principle, the offence that the Kleins committed was no different than restaurants that chose to bar African Americans following the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
On the 31st of August 2013, the Kleins decided to shutdown their storefront bakery. Rather than be forced to supply cakes to clients who have an alternate sexual preference, the Kleins decided to shut down their business and began a crowdfunding campaign to cover their legal costs.
Crowdfunding platform, GoFundMe, promptly cancelled the Klein’s campaign following the court order stating they will not permit “Campaigns in defence of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts.” Still the Kleins will be permitted to collect the $110,000 of the $135,000 of the money they raised before the campaign was cancelled.
Since the landmark June 26th Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, resulting in the United States becoming the largest populated country in the world to legalize gay marriage, religious fundamentalists have been taking moral authority above the law in a crusade against marriage. County clerks, delusional 2016 presidential candidates and now wedding bakers have become self-appointed mercenaries in the battle for divine sanctioned intolerance.
Since the lawsuit was announced against the Kleins, after Bowman filed an anti-discrimination complaint with BOLI after the wedding cake incident, the Kleins have taken to social media and crying on camera. While the Kleins do have five children and a six-figure fine, the precedence here is that the law sympathizes with the oppressed, not the oppressor.
Since the lawsuit was announced against the Kleins, they have taken to social media and crying on camera. While the Kleins do have five children and a six-figure fine, the precedence should be that the law sympathizes with the oppressed, not the oppressor.
In response, Commisioner Brad Avakian wrote,
“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation.”