Christian bakers, Melissa and Aaron Klein, revealed an amazing announcement after they were handed a lawsuit for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. The two faced over $135,000 in penalties, however the lawsuit was later dropped.
Move to present day, and the Kleins are busy working on their relaunch of a new business following the closure of their Oregon-based Sweet Cakes store. The couple is currently raising funds to restart their business while their case is potentially headed for the Supreme Court.
The fundraising description states:
“Over the last several years we have been strong as a family and strong as part of our church body. With life’s stresses comes a void that can sometimes be overwhelming. That void for me was my loss of love for baking and the joy that came with that. I’m here to say it never went away but it was a struggle to fall in love with it again.”
“Almost 2yrs ago we moved to Montana. I had said I was never going to open a bakery again, but God has seemed to change my heart with this. It’s been 10 years since having my shop in Oregon and I greatly miss it along with all my sweet customers,” she added.
Thanks to the fundraiser, the couple has gathered about $17,000 in donations out of a $50,000 total goal to fund the downpayment on a new store location in Montana.
Thanking supporters for their help, Melissa wrote, “Showing resilience and faith that God is the rock we stand on and His love will conquer all fears.”
The Daily Wire reported that the Kleins faced a government mandate from the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) after refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding back in 2013, asserting that doing so would go against their religious beliefs.
Just this year, the BOLI reversed the original attempt to stop the fine.
Circuit Judge Erin Lagesen, the author of the panel opinion, wrote:
“We adhere to our prior decision upholding BOLI’s determinations that Aaron unlawfully discriminated against the Bowman-Cryers based on sexual orientation. We reach a different conclusion with respect to our prior affirmance of BOLI’s noneconomic damages award,” ruled Lagesen.
The Daily Wire shared:
Earlier this year, however, an Oregon Court of Appeals upheld its original finding and threw out the fine over a claim of subtle bias against the religious beliefs of the Kleins.
“The court was right five years ago and is still right today,” attorney Jennifer Pizer, who represented the lesbian couple, said in a statement. “The Kleins’ faith does not give them a pass to ignore Oregon’s Public Accommodation Law.”
“The court adhered to the position that the Oregon courts had previously taken that nondiscrimination laws can be taken to protect same sex couples, regardless of religious beliefs,” Jim Oleske, a law professor at Lewis & Clark, said on Twitter.
7/ The Court then concludes that the hostility potentially evidenced by the prosecutor’s statement may have influenced the agency’s decision to award damages: pic.twitter.com/vNtlUtnPMB
— Jim Oleske (@JimOleske) January 26, 2022
Oleske noted that the court’s conclusion in the ruling emphasized“that the hostility potentially evidenced by the prosecutor’s statement may have influenced the agency’s decision to award damages.”