Oregon Bakers Fined, Silenced for Hurting Lesbians' Feelings
Not only do Christians who oppose same-sex marriage no longer have their religious liberty, they no longer have the right to free speech. At least that’s what an Oregon judge decided in the case of the bakers who refused to bake the cake for a same-sex wedding. Expect the beatings to continue until morale improves because this is what happens when “love wins.”
In February 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein, who owned the now-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa, declined to bake a wedding cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer. At the time, same-sex marriage wasn’t even yet legal in Oregon, but no matter — the offended couple filed a complaint.
In January 2014, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which enforces discrimination law, decided the Kleins illegally discriminated.
Last Thursday, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian issued his final decision on the punishment — just in time for Independence Day, and only days after the Supreme Court endorsed “gay marriage.” The Kleins must pay a fine of $135,000 in “emotional damages” to the couple they denied service. The alleged suffering included — no kidding — “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “loss of sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock,” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”
Clearly, this couple needs serious counseling, not $135,000.
And to add gratuitous insult to unbelievably ridiculous injury for the Kleins, Avakian put a gag order on them. That’s not terribly surprising, given Avakian’s previously stated desire to “rehabilitate” the Kleins and his association with “Basic Rights Oregon,” a pro-homosexual group. Avakian wrote, “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.”
The only thing missing was the horse’s head in their bed.
The gag order is somewhat moot because the Kleins already lost their business to the Rainbow Mafia, but it may still affect the orders they take from home.
“This effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights,” the Kleins responded. “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech.”
But some rights are more equal than others. “This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage,” Avakian declared. “It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.”
Avakian is dead wrong. The Kleins declined to endorse same-sex marriage by providing particular services for the couple’s wedding — they did not entirely refuse to serve them because of their gender disorientation pathology.
It’s no small irony that all of this came to a head just before Independence Day. Our nation was founded by pilgrims seeking religious freedom. Our Declaration of Independence cites “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” both of which are violated by same-sex marriage. And yet here we are with Rule of Law turned on its head to suit the feelings of the offended.
But the Kleins aren’t going quietly. They wrote, “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 Kleins' resolve reminds us of the Declaration itself, whose signers declared, “[F]or the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” We pray they ultimately succeed, and we exhort like-minded Patriots to have such a relentless attitude in the battle for Liberty.