Appeals court rules against Oregon bakers fined $135K in gay-wedding cake dispute

The Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a decision by Oregon’s labor commissioner that forced two Gresham bakers to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple for whom the bakers refused to make a wedding cake.

Melissa and Aaron Klein made national headlines in 2013 when they refused to bake a cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, citing their Christian beliefs. The Bowman-Cryers complained to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, saying they had been refused service because of their sexual orientation.

An administrative law judge ruled that the Kleins’ bakery, Sweetcakes by Melissa, violated a law that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in places that serve the public. Brad Avakian, the state labor commissioner, affirmed heavy damages against the Kleins for the Bowman-Cryer’s emotional and mental distress.

The decision will likely be the most controversial ruling, and the one with the biggest impact, handed down by Avakian during his nearly 10 years in the role. He has decided not to seek re-election when his term expires next year.

2 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • Allen says:

    When are they going after Muslim bakers who’s videos I have seen not doing a cake for a gay couple? Why aren’t there any gay bakers doing cakes? If so are they doing straight couples cakes. Two faced judges have to be stopped.

  • BH says:

    Again, we see that Christians are the only group in America where it is legal to discriminate against their Constitutional rights. As I understand it, they did not deny them service. They simply said they couldn’t participate in the “wedding” by designing the cake they wanted. And how much emotional and mental distress can you have over not having a cake made?! If that caused them distress, they have a lot more problems to worry about.

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