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Sweet Cakes Case

Melissa Klein Cupcake
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Penna Dexternever miss viewpoints

There’s a development in the heart-rending case involving Christian bakers, Aaron and Melissa Klein. The Kleins were the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, located in downtown Gresham, Oregon.

Their bakery is closed now because Oregon officials imposed a $135,000 financial penalty on the Kleins for declining to create a custom cake for a same-sex union ceremony.

When Melissa operated her bakery, she was especially honored when couples chose her to bake their wedding cakes. The Kleins are Christians who consider themselves called to make this unique contribution to celebrations of the God-ordained institution of marriage.

Melissa would get to know each couple and fashion a cake that “reflected them as a couple.” She says, “it was so gratifying to know that I was contributing to the most important day in people’s lives.”

Same-sex marriage wasn’t yet legal in Oregon, when SweetCakes received an order from existing customers for a custom cake for the upcoming celebration of their same-sex union. Melissa declined the business, saying she could not participate in an event that conflicts with her religious beliefs.

The lesbian couple complained to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which brought charges against the Kleins for violating an Oregon civil rights law that includes sexual orientation as a protected category. The bureau, also acting as judge, found the Kleins guilty of violating that ordinance, fined them, and forbade them from speaking of their faith in public.

The case has been to the door of the U.S. Supreme Court which sent it back down to the Oregon courts to reconsider in light of its ruling protecting Masterpiece Cakeshop against which the Court found a Colorado state agency exhibited anti-Christian bias. Now, the Oregon Court of Appeals admits that officials acted with hostility against the Kleins’ religious beliefs. The court remanded the case back to the original agency to reconsider the damages.

If necessary, the Kleins’ attorneys at First Liberty Institute will take this case back to court.penna's vp small

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