Aaron and Melissa Klein, who are Christians, recently closed down their bakery in Gresham, Ore., after igniting a firestorm back in January.
The Kleins refused to bake a lesbian couple a wedding cake for their lesbian wedding, but claim it was not discrimination against lesbians.
“It’s definitely not discrimination at all. We don't have anything against lesbians or homosexuals. It has to do with our morals and beliefs. It’s so frustrating because we went through all of this in January, when it all came out,” Melissa told The Oregonian.
However, the Oregon Equality Act of 2007 does not allow businesses deny service to people based on their sexual orientation. Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) is investigating the Kleins to determine if they violated the law.
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The Kleins now blame their choice to shut down their bakery on unnamed people who used “mafia tactics” to kill their company (video below).
“There’s a lot of closed-minded people out there that would like to pretend to be very tolerant and just want equal rights,” Aaron told KATU.
“But on the other hand, they’ve been very, very mean-spirited. They’ve been militant. The best way I can describe it is they’ve used mafia tactics against the business. Basically, if you do business with Sweet Cakes, we will shut you down.”
Aaron did not mention exactly what these “mafia tactics” were, except to say that someone broke into their bakery truck and ransacked it on Sunday evening.
He did defend refusing service to the lesbian couple, stating, “I didn’t want to be a part of her marriage which I think is wrong.”
Melissa added, “I am who I am, and I want to live my life the way I want to live my life. I choose to serve God and I believe in the Bible. And I believe what it says, and I want to live by that.”
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“I don’t want to shove it down anyone else’s throat or anything like that. I would hope to have the same respect, you know, that things don’t have to be shoved on me and force me to do something I don’t want to do.”
The Kleins did not say if they refuse to bake wedding cakes for divorced people who are getting re-married to different people. The Bible calls this “adultery,” except in limited exceptions.
“I hope that if nothing else, we’ve given people that believe the way we believe the strength to stand up,” said Aaron. “I believe that we’re living in a time that’s very hostile towards Christians. Our First Amendment rights are being stripped away and I’m willing to stand up and take this fight.”