Oregon Again Targets Christian Couple Over Gay Wedding Cake

The U.S. Supreme Court made it clear to Oregon officials that they were not to target a Christian baker for discrimination, but the state did not listen. Instead, Aaron and Melissa Klein have yet again been fined tens of thousands of dollars for refusing to reject their religious principles.

The owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in 2013 were initially penalized $135,000 for not baking a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. They were forced out of business.

But that was before the high court ruled in a separate case that Colorado expressed “hostility” to the Christian faith concerning its actions against Masterpiece Cakeshop. The Sweet Cakes appeal was then remanded back to the state to align with the court’s decision in the Masterpiece lawsuit.

Oregon state officials, however, merely lowered the penalty and reverted back to their previous condemnation.

Now the Kleins, who only sell baked goods out of their residence, are ordered to hand over $30,000.

First Liberty Institute is assisting the couple in their long-running legal skirmish to protect their freedom of religion. It reported that once again, the Oregon Court of Appeals listened to arguments in the case.

It was last June when the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a lower court decision that ran the Kleins out of business. This was the second time that jurists vacated court rulings from Oregon that went against the Christian couple.

But now the state again took punitive actions against the bakers. First Liberty’s Stephanie Taub rightly declared that “freedom of speech has always included the freedom not to speak the government’s message.”

The senior counsel added that all Americans are protected by the First Amendment, regardless of beliefs or perspectives. They cannot be “forced to use their art to send a message with which they disagree.”

Melissa Klein issued a statement through First Liberty explaining the position the couple was put in. She noted that Sweet Cakes gladly served everyone who came into their shop.

However, the owners simply could not put their professional endorsement behind every message. “We just want to be able to run our business without being forced to celebrate events that conflict with our religious beliefs.”

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