Court rules against Gresham bakers in same-sex wedding cake case

Melissa and Aaron Klein

In Oregon on Thursday, an appeals court upheld a $135,000 fine against Christian bakers who refused to make a gay wedding cake.

The decision comes weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the high-profile case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

A Christian bakery which rejected a lesbian couple's request for a wedding cake has been ordered to pay them $135,000.

Attorneys for the Kleins said they are reviewing the decision to see if they will continue with a further appeal. "OR will not allow a "Straight Couples Only" sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores", the couple stated.

"Race is different from sexual orientation", Gustafson said, adding that laws barring interracial marriages were proxies for racial bias and white supremacy. 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.

Carson Whitehead, Assistant Attorney General with the Oregon Department of Justice, represented BOLI.

They are still trying to overturn the decision that they should pay compensation.

Sexual orientation, intimacy, marriage and weddings are so deeply connected, it is impossible to separate them. "It meant everything to me and losing it has been so hard for me and my family".

Klein denied the couple service before there was even a discussion of an inscription. The nature of the discrimination and its impact on the couple's sense of self were harmful, he said.

The panel of appellate judges concluded that baking wedding cakes does not constitute "speech, art or other expression" protected by the First Amendment.

"The Kleins seek an exemption based on their honest religious opposition to same-sex marriage; but those with honest religious objections to marriage between people of different races, ethnicities or faiths could just as readily demand the same exemption", the court said.

The court did reverse one decision that said bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein violated state law by communicating their intent to discriminate against gay couples in the future, according to KGW-TV. The Kleins have directed us to no evidence whatsoever that ORS 659A.403 was enacted for the objective of singling out religiously motivated action, or that BOLI has selectively targeted religion in its enforcement of the statute. "Man's court is going to do what man's court is going to do".

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