Court rules against Oregon bakers in wedding cake case

KPTV file image

KPTV file image Melissa and Aaron Klein

The Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a $135,000 fine against two Christian bakers who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

But the Oregon Court of Appeals sided with the state Thursday, saying the Kleins failed to show the state targeted them for their religious beliefs.

'The Oregon Court of Appeals decided that Aaron and Melissa Klein are not entitled to the Constitution's promises of religious liberty and free speech, ' said Kelly Shackelford, the firm's president.

The appeals court ruled that the OR law barring discrimination was clear, and the Kleins violated it by refusing service based on the couple's sexual orientation.

"It would really depend", he says, "on how broad or narrow of a ruling the Supreme Court issues in that case".

BOLI investigators determined the refusal constituted unlawful discrimination and ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 in damages to the Bowman-Cryers.

The Kleins chose to fight back against the decision and filed an appeal.

Attorney Jeremy Dys from First Liberty, who represents the Kleins, previously told TheBlaze that he hoped the Kleins would be victorious in affirming American business owners' rights to be "free to live their faith".

The case has garnered national attention because of its similarity to another case now in front of the U.S. Supreme Court involving the Masterpiece Cakeshop of Colorado.

Melissa and Aaron Klein (photo), the couple behind Sweetcakes by Melissa became the face of the Christian right's persecution claims, sparking a national debate filled with falsehoods and bereft of many facts in the case.

Melissa and Aaron Klein had refused to bake a cake for Rachel Bowman-Cryer and her wife, Laurel, back in February 2013.

The U.S. Department of Justice, led by Trump appointee Jeff Sessions, submitted an amicus brief in support of Phillips, arguing, "Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights". "In Oregon, businesses that are open to the public are open to all", they said.

It was not, the judges agreed, a violation of the Kleins' constitutional rights to freedom of religion and expression.

As Rachel remained in the vehicle, in tears, her mother went in to speak with Klein.

The Court overturned, in part, a ruling that the Kleins violated the law by threatening to discriminate against gays in the future.

"We lost everything we loved and worked so hard to build", said Melissa Klein.

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