The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) will be holding the owners of Sweet Cake by Melissa accountable for not selling a wedding cake to a lesbian couple. The damages that may be incurred by Aaron and Melissa Klein may be as steep as $150,000, yet will be determine at a future hearing. In January 2013, the Klein’s refused to sell a cake to Rachel Cryer, because she and her partner are involved in a sex marriage.
The owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa argue that they are being persecuted wrongly because they simply refuse to participate in a same sex marriage. Due to the suit, the Klein’s had to close down their store front bakery, and instead conduct their business out of their home.
The judge agreed with the BOLI, and noted that there is not any reason for one to distinguish between a wedding ceremony between two individuals of the same sex along with the sexual preference of said couple. The United States Supreme Court notes cases which speak to conduct and class but focus on the angle of sex versus love.
The Klein’s went on to state that by creating a wedding cake for Cryer and Bowman, it would be a violation of their religious beliefs. However, their religious freedom would not permit them from complying with a law that would be neutral regardless of a party’s religious belief. Finally, the Klein’s believed the complaint ought to be waived since only Cryer was present when the wedding cake request was made. Yet, the judge disagreed, noting one can be discriminated against even if not physically present.