Oregon Court of Appeals Upholds Ruling — and 135K Fine — Against Bakers Who Declined to Make Cake for Same-Sex Wedding

By Nancy Flory Published on December 29, 2017

The Oregon Court of Appeals yesterday unanimously upheld the ruling against bakery owners who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding because it violated their religious beliefs. The Court held that refusing to make a cake for the lesbians violated Oregon law. It fined them $135,000.

Aaron and Melissa Klein declined to bake a cake in 2013 for Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman when they found out that it was for their same-sex wedding. The owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa had served the couple in the past but did not want to be compelled to participate in a same-sex wedding, which went against their beliefs, reported Faithwire.

A Strong Faith in God

“I was happy to serve this couple in the past for another event and would be happy to serve them again, but I couldn’t participate in the ceremony that goes against what I believe,” said Melissa Klein. “I have a strong faith in God, whom I love with all my heart. My whole life is dedicated to living for him, in the best way that I know how. America is a place where the government can’t force you to violate your religious beliefs or tell you what to believe, but we feel like that is exactly what happened to us. We lost everything we loved and worked so hard to build.”

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The appeals court decision came almost nine months after a three-judge panel heard the case.

First Liberty Institute represented the Kleins, Its president Kelly Shackelford was disappointed. “Freedom of expression for ourselves should require freedom of expression for others,” he said. “Today, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided that Aaron and Melissa Klein are not entitled to the Constitution’s promises of religious liberty and free speech.”

First Liberty and the Kleins are considering appealing. If they file a petition within 35 days, the case could head to the Supreme Court.

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  • NellieIrene

    I admire the Kleins for putting everything on the line for religious freedom. But what should be in the dock is the civil rights laws. They are in violation of our constitution and should be abolished. Living in freedom is much better, even if someone’s feelings get hurt because they can’t force someone to bake them a cake.

    • The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 has survived court challenges before. But who know? If Colorado baker Jack Phillips wins his case, maybe such civil rights law will be overturned en masse, since if you can turn away a Gay couple who want a wedding cake, why not be allowed to turn away ANYONE for WHATEVER reason, as long as you say it offends your sense of moral propriety?

      • Chip Crawford

        So, is the idea to get a cake for a wedding or …

      • NellieIrene

        I hope and pray they are overturned. If one is a private business owner they would simply put up a sign that says “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” And everyone would have the same right. Homosexuals, blacks, asians, hispanics etc. That is called a “level playing field.” And guess what? Very little would change from the way people do business now. It would just mean there would be more freedom from government coercion.

  • Elizabeth Litts

    Please take it all the way!! This has been an outrage!

  • Jim in MO

    I hope this goes to the Supreme Court.

  • If the Kleins appeal and ultimately WIN their case, I think they should be REQUIRED to put up a sign on the front of their shop that says, “Only STRAIGHT couples served here.” That would do wonders for their business.

    • Paul

      If you take a moment to catch up on the facts you would soon learn the Kleins had sold product to these same customers before. The issue is they didn’t want to create art in support of homosexual fake marriage.

      • Okay, FINE. The sign should say, “We do not create wedding cakes for Gay couples.”

        • Chip Crawford

          Gay couples could get real and not demand of everyone who breathes that they be exalted and feted and catered and then destroy the livelihood of those who do not do so.

        • Should Twitter, Facebook, Cloudflare, etc. have to put a notice on their front pages saying, “We do not serve white nationalists.”?

        • Paul

          Why? What other businesses must post what they do not sell? Yet another example of homosexuals expecting special treatment as compared to everyone else.

        • GPS Daddy

          And your answer to Steve Wilkinson is?

  • Chip Crawford

    No court in Oregon will dispense justice in this case. May the high court of Heaven give justice and equality to its citizens. May mercy come to those so malicious and punitive in their demands. May they also learn TOLERANCE for others and not seek out ways to destroy those who respectfully disagree with them.

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