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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