The owners of an Oregon bakery are shutting down amid threats from the public after they refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in January.
Aaron and Melissa Klein are shutting down Sweet Cakes by Melissa after receiving angry emails and phone calls.
“You stupid bible-thumping, hypocritical b**ch. I hope your kids get really, really, sick and you go out of business,” read one email the couple received.
“Here’s hoping you go out of business, you bigot. Enjoy hell,” said another.
The Kleins said wedding planners and venues were badgered and harassed until they dropped their bakery from their vendor’s list.
A sign posted to the Gresham bakery’s door Sept. 1 read: “This fight is not over — we will stand strong. Your Religious Freedom is becoming not Free anymore. This is ridiculous that we cannot practice our faith. The LORD is good and we will continued to serve HIM with all our heart.”
On Jan. 17, a mother and daughter came to Sweet Cakes by Melissa to purchase a wedding cake. When Aaron learned it was for two women, Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, he apologized, but refused.
Cryer and Bowman in turn filed a discrimination complaint with the state of Oregon, where same-sex marriage isn’t legally recognized.
The Oregon Equality Act of 2007 states that people can’t be denied service based on sexual orientation.
Now the state Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) reported its investigation to determine if Sweet Cakes’ actions violated the law.
If both parties do not reach a settlement, BOLI spokesman Charlie Burr told KOIN, BOLI will decide whether there is substantial evidence of discrimination to bring formal charges against the bakery.
“Obviously, with my Christian values, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Aaron said. “I take it to be a religious event … God ordained it.”
“It’s definitely not discrimination at all. We don't have anything against lesbians or homosexuals,” Melissa told The Oregonian. “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.”