In March, Faithwire covered the plight of Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Oregon, who were forced to pay $135,000 after declining to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. On Thursday, the Oregon Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the ruling—and $135,000 fine—that the bakery owners discriminated against the couple by refusing to make them a cake, violating Oregon law.
As Faithwire reported, the Kleins’ woes began in 2013 when they declined to bake a cake for Rachel Cryer-Bowman and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, citing their Christian stance on same-sex nuptials. After a complaint was waged by the couple, the state stepped in and awarded the massive sum of money, claiming the Kleins were guilty of discrimination.
Refusing to backdown from their faith and belief that the ruling violated their own religious liberty, the Kleins pushed back against the state’s decision, officially filing an appeals case last year. The $135,000 judgement was ordered to be held in an escrow account until legal proceedings concluded.
Following the court decision in March, Melissa delivered an emotional statement explaining where she and her husband stand on the issue and why they first opened their beloved bakery, which has since closed down.
“When we opened our bakery, we loved serving all customers who came into the shop, regardless of their identity or beliefs. My cakes were my canvas,” she said at the time. “My bakery wasn’t just called ‘Sweet Cakes Bakery,’ it was ‘Sweet Cakes by Melissa’ because I pour my passion and heart into each cake I make. My faith is a part of that.”
According to the Statesman Journal, the Kleins have 35 days to file a petition against Thursday’s ruling, which would send the case to the Oregon Supreme Court. As Faithwire has extensively covered, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments earlier this month for a similar case involving a Colorado bakery.
(H/T: Statesman Journal)