Oregon Baker Refused to Make Wedding Cake; Court Rejects Religious Argument

Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer

An Oregon Appeals court upheld a decision ordering Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135K judgment for turning down making a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

The bakery owners made national headlines after they refused to bake a cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer in February 2013.

Furthermore, the judges found that the Kleins intentionally inflicted emotional harm on the Bowman-Pryors by sharing their address and contact information online and urging Christians to bombard the couple with hate mail and try to have their children taken away.

"For the past 10 years, the Oregon Equality Act of 2007 has protected Oregonians from unlawful discrimination in housing, employment and public places", Avakian said in a statement.

In a statement, he said: "Today's ruling sends a strong signal that OR remains open to all".

"Freedom of expression for ourselves should require freedom of expression for others", Mr. Shackelford said in a statement.

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

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First Liberty Institute, the legal organization that represents the Kleins, disagreed with the ruling.

It was not, the judges agreed, a violation of the Kleins' constitutional rights to freedom of religion and expression. "In a diverse and pluralistic society, people of good will should be able to peacefully coexist with different beliefs".

In 2013, Rachel Bowman-Cryer and Laurel Bowman-Cryer complained to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, saying the Kleins, owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa, had refused to bake them a wedding cake due to their sexual orientation. The Bowman-Cryers filed a complaint, arguing that the Kleins broke a state law against discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

They met with Aaron Klein, who asked for the date of the ceremony and the names of the bride and groom.

A similar case from Colorado is now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

As Rachel remained in the vehicle, in tears, her mother went in to speak with Klein. Klein responded by quoting Leviticus: 'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination'.

Melissa Klein positioned earlier this year that the bakery did not discriminate against the lesbian couple, whom they had served before their wedding cake request, and only asks for the right to be allowed not to participate in a gay wedding. Donations poured in. Some reports say the couple were given well over a half-million dollars in donations via crowdfunding sites, but those figures don't include money sent to the couple directly.

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