On Thursday, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa, were ordered to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple for refusing to bake a wedding cake. They were also essentially stripped of their First Amendment rights with a gag order that prohibits them from discussing how their Christian beliefs shapes their views on gay marriage.
“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian wrote. In short, the Kleins were ordered to “cease and desist” from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for gay weddings based on their Christian beliefs.
“This effectively strips us of all our first amendment rights,” they said on Facebook. “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech. We will NOT give up this fight, and we will NOT be silenced. We stand for God’s truth, God’s word and freedom for ALL americans. We are here to obey God not man, and we will not conform to this world. If we were to lose everything it would be totally worth it for our Lord who gave his one and only son, Jesus, for us! God will win this fight!”
The order came about after an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. “This fight is not over,” Aaron told Perkins. “We will continue to stand strong.”
The order prompted Twitchy to call Avakian the state’s “acting Minister of Thoughtcrime.” The order prompted outrage on Twitter.
“This should not happen in a free country,” said Bill Kristol. “‘No, gay marriage won’t be used as a weapon against churches,’ say the people who want to shut down a bakery for refusing to bake a cake,” added Jim Treacher.
Read more: examiner.com