By now you’ve probably heard of the case of Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of the now-defunct Gresham-based Sweet Cakes bakery, who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
The lesbian couple turned away by a Gresham bakery that refused to make them a wedding cake for religious reasons should receive $135,000 in damages for their emotional suffering, a state hearings officer says.
Rachel Bowman-Cryer should collect $75,000 and her wife, Laurel Bowman-Cryer, $60,000 from the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, an administrative law judge for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said in a proposed order released Friday, April 24. …
Friends and allies set up a GoFundMe site to help the Kleins pay their expenses, but the site was closed down:
But in response to a query by The Oregonian/OregonLive, the San Diego-based company provided this email reply:
Thank you for writing to us about this campaign.
After careful review by our team, we have found the “Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa” campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions and have removed this campaign. The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal.
You may review copy of our Terms and Conditions here: http://www.gofundme.com/terms.
One Oregonian’s letter (via Facebook) to Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian:
Greetings Mr. Avakian,
I’m neither Christian, nor do I oppose same-sex marriage. What I do vehemently oppose is bullying. In the case of the Klein family, after they declined to fill an order for a lesbian couple’s wedding cake, the actions of a segment of the public has indeed been menacing, shameful, and arguably crosses legal lines in terms of the level of threatening and harmful words and behavior directed at the Klein family.
Now the state itself may potentially act to further such bullying. Namely, by levying an exorbitant fine against the Klein family, which goes beyond their business assets, and cuts into their personal finances, which they need in no small part for their five children.
The fact is, the Klein family has lost their business, and has been found guilty, under Oregon law, for declining this customer inquiry. This is quite a lot. The subsequent death threats, continued harassment, and extreme distress that Mr. and Mrs. Klein, along with their children and other family members, have been subject to goes beyond that, and is disgraceful.
The Klein family has paid a heavy price for their conscientious objection to homosexuality, and the point has been clearly made: in Oregon, private business owners’ personal religious beliefs are not protected under the state’s laws, and they are not legally permitted under Oregon state law to decline service to other individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation – even when it violates their beliefs, identity, and constitutional right to freedom of religion.
To levy a fine on the Klein family of $135,000.00 for this lesbian couple is excessive, aimed at them personally (meant to hurt them as individuals, which would punish their children as well), and would reflect very badly on the public and legal officials of Oregon (it smacks of vengeance and not justice as understood and stated in Oregon state laws).
You, Mr. Avakian, have the direct power in this case to make a decision as to the amount of said fine, and thus deeply affect this family and their children, as well as make a very important statement about the system of justice within the state of Oregon.
I urge you to be reasonable and fair, look at the fact that no expert testimony was actually offered by lawyers for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer concerning their claims for damages, and to seriously consider the future of the Klein family children.
Alexis G. Shapira
Meanwhile, I can find no example of similar zeal on the part of leftist activists to punish the Muslim bakeries in Dearborn that made similar refusals.
Now maybe Crowder went to 20 bakeries and maybe most of them agreed to bake the cake. Great! Good on them. But if we go by the Oregon example, even one refusal is too many. Maybe Michigan’s laws are different from Oregon’s? Even so, why is not the whole leftist outrage machine firing full-bore on these guys?
I’ll tell you what it looks like to me. It looks like the leftist so-called “liberals” are picking on the easy targets, the safe targets – Christians – and piling on. And then they’re congratulating themselves on their enormous courage.