On Thursday, the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the decision to fine Sweet Cakes by Melissa for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding in 2013.
The owners of the bakery, Aaron and Melissa Klein, were forced to pay $135,000 for emotional-distress damages.
They appealed the fine. The Kleins had already paid it in December of 2015 but the payment was held by Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries until the appeal was settled.
The Kleins argued that the fine violated their free speech as artists, religious freedom rights, and their due process rights.
However, the court ruled the Kleins failed to show the state violated their religious beliefs. There were also public statements by State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian that showed he lacked impartiality.
After the ruling was made, Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer expressed their satisfaction with a statement regarding the outcome.
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The statement read, “It does not matter how you were born or who you love. All of us are equal under the law and should be treated equally. Oregon will not allow a ‘Straight Couples Only’ sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores.”
Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery first made headlines in January of 2013 for refusing to bake a cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer.
The owners of the bakery had to close their store due to the backlash. They ran the business out of their home until 2016, when it was closed permanently.
You can watch a short video about it:
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