Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery in Gresham, Oregon, has shuttered its storefront after owner Aaron Klein refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
The brides-to-be claimed Klein denied them their caked and called them an “abomination unto the Lord.” They filed a complaint with the Bureau of Labor and Industries, which launched an investigation to determine if Klein had indeed violated the law.
Under Oregon’s Equality Act of 2007, people cannot be denied service based on their sexual orientation. According to a release by the Bureau, obtained by KOIN 6 News, schools and religious groups are exempt from the law, but not private businesses. The investigation is still ongoing, but Klein and his wife Melissa closed Sweet Cakes and moved the business back into their home where they had originally started it.
A handwritten sign posted on the storefront read:
This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong. Your Religious Freedom is becoming not Free anymore. This is ridiculous that we can not practice our faith. The LORD is good and we will continue to serve Him with all our heart.
The Kleins claim that since refusing the same-sex couple their wedding cake in January, their business has taken a 50% hit, and they’ve become victims of harassment and discrimination.
“There’s a lot of close-minded people out there that would like to pretend to be very tolerant and just want equal rights,” Klein told KATU. “But on the other hand, they’ve been very, very mean-spirited. They’ve been militant. The best way I can describe it is they’ve used mafia tactics against the business. Basically, if you do business with Sweet Cakes, we will shut you down.”
The conservative right has already condemned the “gaystapo” for “bullying” the nice Christian bakery out of business, but they seem to forget that religious freedom doesn’t give one carte blanche to discriminate. And that’s why we have the separation of Church and State — to reign in religion when it starts to impinge on the freedom of others.
That and because Jane Lynch really knows how to grind: