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Oregon bakery refuses to bake cake for gay wedding

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:24 a.m. HST, Jan 20, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. » A suburban Portland bakery stands by its decision to deny a cake for a same-sex wedding.

The owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa tell KATU-TV that their religious beliefs have not changed after Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries determined the Portland-area bakery violated the civil rights of a same-sex couple. Owner Aaron Klein says it almost seems as if the state is hostile toward Christian businesses.

The state will oversee a conciliation process to see if the parties can reach a settlement, The Oregonian reported. If not, the labor bureau may pursue charges before an administrative law judge.

Lewis & Clark law professor Jim Oleske says Oregon is one of 21 states that protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The 2007 law provides an exemption for religious organizations and parochial schools but does not allow private business owners to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman of Portland say they were denied a wedding cake last January by the bakery's owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein. The women filed a complaint with the state.

Cryer said she went to the Gresham bakery on Jan. 17, 2013, and met with Aaron Klein, who asked for the date and names of the bride and groom.

"I told him, 'There are two brides and our names are Rachel and Laurel,'" her complaint said.

Klein responded that he and his wife didn't serve same-sex weddings and "cited a religious belief for (the) refusal to make cakes for same-sex couples planning to marry," the complaint said.

Herbert Grey, the Kleins' lawyer, said his clients will participate in the conciliation process but maintain their original stance. The Kleins have said they weren't discriminating against the couple, who were customers in the past. Instead, they said they were practicing their constitutional right to religious freedom. They have said baking a cake for a same-sex wedding would violate their Christian beliefs.

"They're being punished by the state of Oregon for refusing to participate in an event that the state of Oregon does not recognize," Grey said.

Oregon voters decided in 2004 to amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. An initiative to overturn the ban is expected to be on the 2014 ballot. Oregon officials have said the state will recognize same-sex marriages of couples who wed in other states or countries.

Paul Thompson, a lawyer for Cryer and Bowman, told the newspaper that the women consider the investigation's findings bittersweet. They are about as pleased as they can be, given that the investigation ultimately determined they experienced discrimination, he said.

Since the case began, the Kleins have moved their business to their home, the newspaper said.

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Slow wrote:
At first I thought this was a silly article. So what if the bakers don't want to make a gay wedding cake? after a bit of consideration i believe it is a nissue of equality. Could the bakers refuse a cake to Barack Obama because of his color? To Christians (their name is often a Jewish surname)? No. Equality is the law in America. But before going out of business can I get a swastika cake? A SA contributor is on a racial rampage...right Grimmy?
on January 19,2014 | 10:21AM
kuewa wrote:
A swastika is a symbol; I don't think the law would prohibit the Kleins or any other bakery from refusing to use offensive symbols or obscene language(and, on the other hand, the bakery would have the right to go ahead with the customer request if it so chooses, Otherwise, I agree with your comment. A bakery is a public business, it is not a church; customers shouldn't have to worry about whether a public business is going to discriminate against them based on the business owner's so-called religious beliefs. How would the Kleins feel if they visited Hawai`i and a local business refused to serve them because haoles are offensive to the owner based on his/her religion?
on January 19,2014 | 10:36AM
1local wrote:
sodomy should never have been legally protected and endorsed by democrat lawmakers...
on January 19,2014 | 02:05PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
It was the Supreme Court who invalidated all sodomy laws quite awhile ago.
on January 19,2014 | 02:12PM
localguy wrote:
It's how things get done in Honolulu Hale and Mini Me's office. Standard for all elected bureaucrats, part of their on the job training.
on January 20,2014 | 06:31AM
kailuabred wrote:
Dumb comment. Most consensual sodomy is performed by heterosexuals.
on January 20,2014 | 09:21AM
mokebla wrote:
What happen to the rights too refuse service? This country is so screw that the outside countries won't hurt us, we'll do it all by our lonesome self. Can't we all get along? No we can't, the book of life tells you that. Go read it!
on January 19,2014 | 02:28PM
Anonymous wrote:
Aloha Slow, science has not yet caught up with current society for homosexuals/bisexuals because there are no scientific evidence that one is born homosexual. In President Obama's case, he is genetically born a male and is half black and half white.
on January 19,2014 | 06:01PM
localguy wrote:
Anonymous - Wrong again. Proven by science some time ago people are born the way they are, comes from their parent's genes. Same reason by in some cases, both twins are gay. People need to accept people for who they are. Sadly there are still a lot of dysfunctional people will discriminate against someone for the smallest excuse, thinking they are perfect. Really?
on January 20,2014 | 06:36AM
d_bullfighter wrote:
Logically you refute your own argument. "In some cases, both twins are gay" infers that not all twins are gay which should be the case IF homosexuality is genetically determined. And BTW, identical twin studies have been done which do not point to homosexuality having genetic causation.
on January 20,2014 | 07:10AM
thanks4reading wrote:
Let's say that being gay is a "choice" so is being christian. Under your logic, I should be able discriminate against christians and deny them the right to marry. Pick up a science article once and awhile. You really won't burn in hell because you believe science over superstition.
on January 20,2014 | 07:38AM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
As much as they can refuse to bake a cake for a same sex marriage, sam sex couples can refuse to patronize their business. Suppose we reverse the situation and say that if I have a bakery that services same sex couples, all same sex couples must buy their cakes from me. Would that be alright?
on January 20,2014 | 07:32AM
d_bullfighter wrote:
Your argument is a red herring. The Bible does state homosexuality is a sin but no such prohibition is made against skin color. Therefore as Christians, these bakery owners are simply following their consciences. If gays want others to be tolerant of the gay agenda, they should follow their own advice and exercise the same courtesy toward others.
on January 20,2014 | 07:52AM
kailuabred wrote:
Your fiction bible also says that slavery is ok and we can stone our kids when they disobey.....
on January 20,2014 | 09:25AM
inverse wrote:
From watching some TV programs, Oregon has pockets of serious white supremacists/ Christians and they don't mess around. LBGT groups should defintely help support a lawsuit against this cake company and the cake company would probably lose, but they better watch out for retribution cause some of those Oregonians are fanatical and will not hesitiate to speak out with their firearms.
on January 19,2014 | 10:29AM
serious wrote:
No! Oregon is Obama country, 100% Democrats, just like Hawaii. This must be a renegade--a Paula Deen lookalike!!!
on January 19,2014 | 11:19AM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Wrong...Portland and Eugene metro area is Obama country. The rest of the state is hard core republican.
on January 19,2014 | 05:23PM
sooregonian wrote:
@Surfer_Dude...right you are! Southern Oregon (except Ashland) is conservative, family, and gun friendly.
on January 20,2014 | 08:05AM
nitpikker wrote:
i thought it was idaho with the supremacists.
on January 19,2014 | 11:48AM
primo1 wrote:
Lots of skinheads in potato country.
on January 20,2014 | 11:00AM
sooregonian wrote:
@inverse -- Oregonians (of all persuasions) won't be giving up their Oreguns without resistance to be sure.
on January 20,2014 | 08:13AM
MANDA wrote:
Not So Sweet Cakes.
on January 19,2014 | 10:49AM
kekelaward wrote:
like there's only one bakery in Portland. If they don't want to make the cake, go somewhere else. But, no. Let's go to the government and play the victim card.
on January 19,2014 | 11:00AM
kuewa wrote:
That type of attitude is what encourages people like the Kleins.
on January 19,2014 | 11:42AM
8082062424 wrote:
thing is no one should force there life style on others be it Christians or gays. we all have our right to our own belief system no matter what it is
on January 19,2014 | 12:13PM
jimbone wrote:
Spot on!! Don't force it on others. Do your own thing..simple
on January 19,2014 | 07:38PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Exactly, I wish some of those extremist religious folks would stop trying to force their lifestyle choice on everyone else. Do your own thing... simple.
on January 19,2014 | 09:37PM
8082062424 wrote:
that for both sides we sure have gay extremist who do the same thing
on January 20,2014 | 05:20AM
localguy wrote:
No one is forcing anything. They just want to buy a cake. Religion is a crutch for weak minded individuals who can't fully function in society. Giving credit to a false god for all their accomplishment.
on January 20,2014 | 06:37AM
hanabatadayz wrote:
it's against the law so they have every right..they are not playing the victim card..they are doing what is right
on January 19,2014 | 11:47AM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
I agree, why would you want someone like that to bake your wedding cake anyway? Take your business where it's appreciated, the Klein's are in a minority group that is slowly disappearing from society.
on January 19,2014 | 01:29PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
I hope you're right that people who want to violate the law and discriminate against people by using their religion as the excuse are in the minority and that they will disappear more quickly from society.
on January 19,2014 | 01:49PM
hawaiikone wrote:
And it's your mission to root out and persecute those who would chose obedience to God over obedience to man. Seems like I've heard that mindset before.
on January 19,2014 | 09:08PM
jimbone wrote:
on January 19,2014 | 07:37PM
primo1 wrote:
Maybe they should post that "We reserve the right to refuse service..." sign.
on January 20,2014 | 11:02AM
tutulois wrote:
Haters are everywhere, it seems, even in bakeries. There are plenty of Christians who DO support marriage equality. These people are giving the religion a bad name.
on January 19,2014 | 11:07AM
hanabatadayz wrote:
wayne cordeiro would disagree
on January 19,2014 | 11:48AM
8082062424 wrote:
they are great number of Christians among other faiths that do not. just look how that issue divided this state. we all have a right to what ever belief system we have
on January 19,2014 | 12:15PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Yes, you are entitled to your belief system; you just aren't entitled to break the law by using religion as an excuse.
on January 19,2014 | 01:50PM
8082062424 wrote:
Thing is green using religion as an excuse. it not the case. this is there core belief it what they believe in and make them who they are you may not agree with that and that fine but they have there right to there belief system same as you and i and every one else in the country
on January 19,2014 | 02:15PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
They have the right to their beliefs and are free to act on them, just as society has an obligation to enforce the law. They can choose to break the law based on their beliefs, but they also have to be prepared to be accountable for their decision.
on January 19,2014 | 02:30PM
8082062424 wrote:
I agree and now they run there business from there home. there power in numbers we all learn that one more and more folks are going to be fighting for there religious freedom rights and laws will protect them it just a matter of time
on January 19,2014 | 03:07PM
BigIsandLava wrote:
Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong. The issue is, what is right and what is wrong.
on January 19,2014 | 11:19AM
hawaiikone wrote:
The issue is choosing between God's law or man's. And either choice comes with a price.
on January 19,2014 | 03:04PM
8082062424 wrote:
the best and most honest post. can not serve two masters
on January 19,2014 | 03:08PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Fortunately we are a nation of civil law that does not privilege one set of religious beliefs over another. That's what they do in theocratic or dictatorship style nations. This is the United States, not Iran.
on January 19,2014 | 03:16PM
hawaiikone wrote:
No argument. Again, each of us has to make a choice. And each of us has to deal with the consequences of those choices.
on January 19,2014 | 04:54PM
8082062424 wrote:
i would love for a gay couple to go to a bakery of some one of the Muslim faith they would get the same answer
on January 19,2014 | 05:17PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Really? How many Muslims do you actually know?
on January 19,2014 | 09:38PM
8082062424 wrote:
quite a few and they take there faith more serious then most other faiths. it the very core of who they are. we have some really great folks at Uh
on January 20,2014 | 05:22AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
And there are Muslims that are totally fine with marriage equality, just as there are Catholics and LDS, Baptists, Jews, etc. Painting any entire religion with one brush and saying they believe with unanimity is a mistake both sides make in this discussion.
on January 20,2014 | 07:46AM
8082062424 wrote:
well this faith take there beliefs way more serious then any other faiths out there
on January 20,2014 | 08:54AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
I'll wait for those of "other" faiths to debate you on that one.
on January 20,2014 | 10:59AM
kailuabred wrote:
You can also choose the Flying Spaghetti Monster's law...same thing as god's.
on January 20,2014 | 09:28AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Tell God. Not me. You'll get your chance.
on January 20,2014 | 02:58PM
jtamura69 wrote:
Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
on January 19,2014 | 11:21AM
8082062424 wrote:
1 Corinthians 5:11–13 1 Corinthians 5:11–13 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone nwho bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging ooutsiders? pIs it not those inside the church2 whom you are to judge? 13 God judges3 those outside. q“Purge the evil person from among you.” this is why they do not want to partake of it. it a bit strong for me but it there right to there belief system
on January 19,2014 | 12:32PM
localguy wrote:
You are quoting a book written by us lowly humans. It is not the words of a supreme being in the Cosmos. Long proven by science, universe came into its own existence. When will we finally admit we are responsible for what we do or do not do?
on January 20,2014 | 06:39AM
8082062424 wrote:
that your belief system and i have more respect for a non believe then a believer who hand picks scriptures . we all have the right to our own beliefs system no matter what it is
on January 20,2014 | 08:56AM
kailuabred wrote:
Dr Suess 1:1 "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish"
on January 20,2014 | 09:30AM
nitpikker wrote:
what is the big deal? if the bakery wants to known as neo-nazi, kkk sympathizers thats their business....for how much longer they'll have a business.
on January 19,2014 | 11:47AM
HanabataDays wrote:
I would say this is unlikely to happen here. Not all of our bakeries, thank heavens, have the same rigorous moral standards as the Kleins. I base this upon 25 years working as a male in a female work environment -- the only rooster in the henhouse. The cakes these middle-aged ladies would order for each others' birthdays; Lord have mercy, I'd better leave the details and decorations to your imagination. And they never had the slightest difficulty getting their "orders filled", to my knowledge. Yes, they should come here and we'll bake them an ono Castella cake.
on January 19,2014 | 11:47AM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Ok Rooster ... lol
on January 19,2014 | 01:33PM
hawaiikone wrote:
The only thing you've said today that makes sense is "Lord have mercy".
on January 19,2014 | 02:57PM
hanabatadayz wrote:
they probably lost a lot of regular customers now..good for them
on January 19,2014 | 11:49AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Perhaps they've gained a few as well.
on January 19,2014 | 09:10PM
Kuokoa wrote:
Here we go, Hawaii! We going be next. This is NOT about civil rights! It is about a small group of people trying to get attention they didn't get as children.
on January 19,2014 | 12:20PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
How do you know what attention the Kleins got as children?
on January 19,2014 | 01:51PM
bleedgreen wrote:
"The Kleins have said they weren't discriminating against the couple, who were customers in the past." But now they are refusing based on religious belief. So ask them to bake a simple two-tier, white-frosting cake (take it home and add your own decorations). But if they refuse this request, then it's a problem.
on January 19,2014 | 01:53PM
8082062424 wrote:
i agree but that to civil . this about forcing some one to partake of there lifestyle
on January 19,2014 | 02:16PM
Rajawa wrote:
This happened over a year ago unless it's the same one. The Bakery that did it a year ago closed down because this happened.
on January 19,2014 | 02:24PM
hawaiiwalter wrote:
I think they used to discriminate against Jews...especially in Germany some years ago. Klein sounds like a Jewish name. I wonder if they thinkl that discriminating against Jewish people is OK.
on January 19,2014 | 03:12PM
fbiguy wrote:
Klein = Small in German. It is a German name
on January 19,2014 | 03:41PM
mrluke wrote:
Just another issue for the gay sympathy/victim brigade. Why in the H--- would they even want this bakery to provide their cake? And why would they decide to make this an issue? (stupid question). Just get over it and move on, girls!
on January 19,2014 | 04:04PM
kukui_nut wrote:
on January 19,2014 | 08:19PM
redneckMT wrote:
Get over it already! If hey don't want to bake your cake, go somewhere else. They probably don't want to come to your wedding either.
on January 19,2014 | 07:28PM
Holomua wrote:
Next, there will be a lawsuit from a same-sex couple because their cake didn't taste as good as the one served at the heterosexual wedding 6 months earlier, and claim it was deliberate because of their sexual preference.
on January 19,2014 | 07:59PM
hikine wrote:
Does the business have a sign saying "We have the right to refuse service to anyone"? The bakery is losing potential profits from gay marriages. Do they also refuse to sell to gay people? Do they ask each customer if they are gay?
on January 19,2014 | 10:17PM
8082062424 wrote:
see that the thing they have no problem selling baked good to them. but they will not bake a wedding cake because that partaking of the ceremony
on January 20,2014 | 05:27AM
OutsidelookingIn wrote:
So when a muslim taxi driver refuses to give service to a blind person with a seeing eye dog because of their religion its ok. And they are still allowed to be a taxi driver. But you won't get that story because of their muslim belief but if they're a christian you'll see that story.
on January 20,2014 | 03:11AM
kailuabred wrote:
How about a seeing eye pig?
on January 20,2014 | 09:32AM
mauibill wrote:
What happened to freedom of choice. Why would they force a business to bake them a cake when they could just go to another cake baker. If the two women want the freedom of choice to be wed then why would they deny a business the freedom of choice to serve whomever they wish to serve.
on January 20,2014 | 05:52AM
localguy wrote:
What if the supplier of baking goods for the bakery is pro gay, cuts them off. Same for their phone company, refuses them phone service. Same for their car insurance company and website management company? All of them refuse to offer service to the bakery citing "Their Religion." When is enough enough? Can't we all just get along?
on January 20,2014 | 06:42AM
Tarball wrote:
The solution is simple . . . . . find a bakery willing to service you.
on January 20,2014 | 06:33AM
salsacoquibx wrote:
Agree..why even bother with it..the bakery is the one losing business.
on January 20,2014 | 11:11AM
Oahuan2 wrote:
Yes, these people should be able to refuse business from ANYONE, and they will bear the consequences of their decision, The government and lawyers need to stay out of it and the gay couple needs to find a new baker.
on January 20,2014 | 06:46AM
blackmurano wrote:
What's wrong with refusing "Perversion"? God ordained marriage as a "Covenant" for one man and one woman. The Democratic Party both here and nationally with it's Muslim leader Barack "Hussein" Obama is trying to redefine marriage to a " Perversion Marriage". They trying to convince the whole country that it's about Equality in Marriage. Marriage is not about equality, but for one man and one women.
on January 20,2014 | 07:06AM
kailuabred wrote:
That would make sense if there was a god, but there isn't, so it doesn't.
on January 20,2014 | 09:33AM
thanks4reading wrote:
From a pro same sex marriage strategy point of view, it was a bad idea to take on the bakery. This business will only become a matyra for the opposition. Once same sex marriage becomes legal, economics and change of public attitude will slowly bring around those businesses that discriminate.
on January 20,2014 | 07:41AM
blackmurano wrote:
What has blacks, whites, reds, yellow, brown, female and handicapped have in common? In one way or another they have been discriminated against. All of them were made in the image of God. As for Homosexuals and Lesbians, they were not created by God. In fact in the book of Romans, God calls them "not normal" with a debased mind who surpressed God's Truth. God doesn't create in your mother's womb homsexuals, lesbians, alchoholic or other sinful behaviors. You made a choice in life to follow your God given conscience to follow your way instead of God's way.
on January 20,2014 | 09:58AM
lwandcah wrote:
There will always be those that are willing to put their beliefs ahead of what someone else tells them they have to do. Some are willing to lose their businesses, some will be threatened with bodily harm and some will even lose thier lives, and yet they do not waiver. I applaud them. In this case, they Kleins never refused service when the "victims" came in to purchase items. By asking them to provide the wedding cake, they are expecting the Kleins to give up their beliefs by participating in a ceremony that they cannot support.
on January 20,2014 | 11:16AM
Kaimiloa wrote:
In some places, I can see the importance of making this a government issue. In Portland, I'd just let the market do its thing. I bet someone is planning a "love-in" in front the bakery, right now.
on January 20,2014 | 09:25AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Since when did a cake for a reception become a part of ANY wedding ceremony? Specious argument at best.
on January 20,2014 | 11:29AM
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