Oregon Appeals Court Rules Against Bakery's Religious Freedom Claims in Discrimination Case

Calvin Saunders
December 30, 2017

Melissa and Aaron Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, claimed in 2013 that it would be "sinful" to create a cake for lesbian couple Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer.

In a statement, Cryer and Bowman applauded the court ruling saying, "All of us are equal under the law and should be treated equally".

In 2013, Rachel Bowman-Cryer and Laurel Bowman-Cryer complained to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, saying the Kleins, owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa, had refused to bake them a wedding cake due to their sexual orientation.

On Thursday, almost five years after the incident that ignited the case, the Oregon Court of Appeals sided with the state and upheld the penalty against the Kleins. "OR will not allow a "Straight Couples Only" sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores".

A similar case, involving a Colorado bakery, went before the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month.

The Bowman-Cryers said the case was not simply about a wedding cake, their marriage or their wedding. "But neither the sincerity, nor the religious basis, nor the historical pedigree of a particular belief has been held to give a special license for discrimination".

The Oregon court said the Kleins" argument that their cakes entail an artistic expression is "entitled to be taken seriously, ' but it's not enough for the couple to assert their cakes are pieces of art - they must show others perceive their creations like a sculpture or painting.

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As Rachel remained in the auto, in tears, her mother went in to speak with Klein. The bakers refused only after hearing that the cakes would be used in same-sex marriage receptions.

The Kleins were found to be in breach of a 2007 state law that protects the rights of LGBTQ people in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Writing about that pending decision at National Review, Kevin Williamson warned about the legal consequences if Christians are forced by "government bayonets" to perform a duty they are morally opposed to. At the most, the business was a combination of expressive and non-expressive elements.

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

After the case, the Bowman-Cryers left the courthouse in tears.

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. "Man's court is going to do what man's court is going to do".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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