Court: Sweet Cakes must pay damages for refusing to bake wedding cake
31 December, 2017, 06:21 | Author: Jason Torres
In a statement, Avakian said the Appeals Courtruling "sends a strong signal that or remains open to all".
"The Kleins do not offer a principled basis for limiting their requested exemption in the manner that they propose, except to argue that there are "decent and honorable" reasons, grounded in religious faith, for opposing same-sex marriage", the judge continued.
An Oregon Appeals court upheld a decision ordering Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135K judgment for turning down making a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.
"Freedom of expression for ourselves should require freedom of expression for others", First Liberty Institute president Kelly Shackelford said.
Even if the Kleins "imbue each wedding cake with their own aesthetic choices", the court said, other people will not necessarily "experience any wedding cake that the Kleins create predominantly as "expression" rather than as food". 'In a diverse and pluralistic society, people of good will should be able to peacefully coexist with different beliefs'.
The court also said the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries did not "impermissibly burden the Kleins' right to the free exercise of religion" because the Christian bakers were only forced to comply with "a neutral law of general applicability".
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The Statesman-Journal adds: "According to a brief filed by the civil rights organization Lambda Legal, when Bowman-Cryer's mother returned to the bakery to reason with Aaron Klein, he called her daughter and her soon-to-be daughter-in-law 'abominations'".
The state fined the bakers after determining they violated a 2007 OR law that protects the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations.
Though the couple repeatedly served customers of any sexual orientation, they did not feel comfortable custom-designing the wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony.
The bakery case is one of many disputes nationwide since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June 2015 to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer praised the ruling in a statement released through their attorney: "It does not matter how you were born or who you love". Donations poured in. Some reports say the couple were given well over a half-million dollars in donations via crowdfunding sites, but those figures don't include money sent to the couple directly.
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