Court rules against bakers who refused to make gay wedding cake

Court rules against bakers who refused to make gay wedding cake

Court rules against bakers who refused to make gay wedding cake

The Kleins (husband and wife owners of the since-closed Sweetcakes by Melissa) argue, among other things, that enforcement of the nondiscrimination law against them violates their religious freedom rights under the First Amendment.

The Appeals Court ruled against Avakian on one point: The labor commissioner interpreted the Kleins' statements as evidence of an intent to discriminate in the future.

Thursday, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, lost their case with the Oregon Court of Appeals.

On Thursday the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the Oregon labor commissioner's decision that the Christian bakers must pay $135,000 in damages - not for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple, although they did, but for emotional and mental distress.

Melissa and Aaron Klein have been ordered to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple the bakers declined to make a cake for.

When told there was no groom, Klein said he was sorry but the bakery did not make cakes for same-sex weddings. They likewise have declined to customize cakes for divorce parties, bachelor parties, and even Halloween - anything that is inconsistent with their personal understanding of their Christian faith.

The case could continue to the Oregon Supreme Court if needed. A similar case from Colorado is now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Attorneys for the Kleins said they are reviewing the decision to see if they will continue with a further appeal.

The judge did not agree, saying in a ruling that the state did not target them due to their religious beliefs and that the cake was not fully protected speech or art.

The couple said they moved to OR because the state stands strong for equality and they are proud to raise their daughters where people believe in dignity and respect.

Donations poured in for the Kleins, who campaigned in Iowa with Ted Cruz at "Rally for Religous Liberty", and C. Boyden Gray, the former White House Counsel for George H.W. Bush, offered to represent the couple for free.

As Rachel remained in the vehicle, in tears, her mother went in to speak with Klein. On the Free Exercise claim, the court rejected the argument made by the Kleins that the law was created to target religion, thus heightening the level of judicial scrutiny required.

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

In a statement, Cryer and Bowman applauded the court ruling saying, "All of us are equal under the law and should be treated equally".

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