BITTER SWEETS

Baker Denies Gay Couple Wedding Cake, Cites Religious Freedom

no-gay-cakeThe owner of a bakery in Gresham, Oregon is at the center of a state investigation after he refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple.

One of the brides-to-be filed a complaint against Aaron Klein and Sweet Cakes on January 28, claiming that Klein denied them their cake and called them “abominations unto the Lord.”

Klein denied using that particular language but admitted to refusing to serve the couple, citing his Constitutional right to freedom of religion.

“I apologized for wasting their time and said we don’t do same-sex marriages,” Klein told KATU. “I honestly did not mean to hurt anybody, didn’t mean to make anybody upset, (it’s) just something I believe in very strongly.”

His actions, however, violate Oregon’s 2007 Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Statutes don’t get to overcome constitutional protections,” said Portland attorney Paula Barran, “so if somebody had a religious-based reason for wanting not to trade with somebody, I think you have a really interesting test case for whether or not a statute like this can apply.”

Ultimately, the case will be decided by a judge, but either way, Klein stands by his decision. “If I have to be… penalized for my beliefs, then I guess, well, that’ll be what it is,” he said.