Back in February 2013, Melissa and Aaron Klein, refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple, Rachel Bowman-Cryer and Laurel, from their “Sweet Cakes” bakery.
Now the final verdict on their appeal has been handed over to the couple, for taking a stand on their religious beliefs, and it is not one in the Klein’s favor.
The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the $135,000 fine given to the couple would be upheld. The initial decision for the “emotional damages suffered” fine came from the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries in 2015.
“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal,” says the bureau’s order.
According to Oregon’s Equality Act of 2007, it is illegal for a business to discriminate due to people’s sexual orientation.
“This is a shocking result which shows the state’s relentless campaign to punish Oregonians who live and work according to their faith,” Anna Harmon, a lawyer for the Kleins, said.
After this ruling, the couple appealed it, but once again the decision was not in their interest.
“We believe that freedom of expression for ourselves means freedom of expression for others. And what’s unfortunate here is that a family and their business has been punished because of their religious beliefs. And that’s not America. That’s just flat out wrong,” said Mike Berry, an attorney who represented the Kleins in March.
Of course the real people who suffered “emotional damages” during this whole ordeal was the Klein family. They had to close their bakery in 2013, and Melissa even had to shut down her online business.
“We lost everything we loved and worked so hard to build,” she said. “I loved my shop. It meant everything to me and losing it has been so hard for me and my family.”
The family does have to option to present an appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court, but whether or not the Kleins will do so has yet to be decided.