Anti-Gay Bakery Faces Up To $150,000 In Fines For Violating Anti-Discrimination Laws

The bakery that set off a legal firestorm across the nation, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, may now have to pay $150,000 in fines for violating a state non-discrimination ordinance, according to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. The couple, Aaron and Melissa Klein, refused to bake a wedding cake for Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman (who is now Bowman-Cryer) because their marriage contradicted the Kleins’ religious beliefs.

And you know how the story goes. The Kleins became heroes to the right in their quest to end “discrimination” and “persecution” against Christian individuals. Their position as martyrs accelerated when they had to close their bakery due to the backlash of being bigots.

Well now, the Kleins must own up to their bigotry and mistreatment of members of the LGBT community.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found that the Kleins violated the law when they decided to discriminate against the same-sex couple because, regardless of the Kleins’ personal beliefs, the bakery does not constitute a “religious institution.” Because of that, they are just a regular institution, and must provide equal service to same-sex couples as is provided to heterosexual couples. The Bureau gave the Klein’s a chance to fess up to their mistakes and reach a settlement with the couple, but of course, they decided to ride the wave of being anti-LGBT champions.

So now they face up to $150,000 in fines for their crimes. They really should have just baked the dang cake (or at least reached a deal).

Administrative Law Judge Alan McCullough wrote a blistering decision in which he sided with the findings of the Bureau, saying “there is simply no reason to distinguish between services for a wedding ceremony between two persons of the same sex and the sexual orientation of that couple. The conduct, a marriage ceremony, is inextricably linked to a person’s sexual orientation.” What that means is this: a same-sex wedding has everything to do with sexual orientation (as does a heterosexual wedding),and therefore to deny service to them because their union involves same-sex characteristics, is discriminatory.

The Kleins tried to use the technicality of Rachel Cryer being with her mother instead of her lover as “proof” that Bowman-Cryer does not have standing in the complaint and thus does not constitute discrimination.

The judge quickly smacked down that ridiculous assertion, writing that it is a “false premise that a person cannot be discriminated against unless they are physically presented to witness an alleged act of discrimination perpetrated against them.”

When the Kleins claimed that being forced to comply with the non-discrimination was “compelled speech,” the judge again smacked them down:

“Respondents were not asked to issue a marriage license, perform a wedding ceremony, or in any way legally recognize Complainants’ planned same-sex wedding.” The Kleins were “under no compulsion to publicly ‘speak the government’s message’ in an affirmative manner that demonstrates their support for same-sex marriage.”

“Their refusal to make a wedding cake for Complainants was not a religious practice, but conduct motivated by their religious beliefs.”

The Kleins had over a year to reach an agreement with Rachel and Laurel Cryer, but drug their feet. This is what happens when you discriminate. You face the consequences. If you don’t want to sere people equally, don’t open an establishment.

A hearing in the future will be scheduled to determine exactly how much the Kleins will have to pay.