Another court rules 'rights' only a one-way street

by Wade Massey December 30, 2017, 0:36
Another court rules 'rights' only a one-way street

The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled against Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery who in 2013 refused to design and bake a cake celebrating a lesbian couple's same-sex wedding.

The Kleins appealed, saying through their legal team that they had a religious exemption from the Oregon Equality Act, which bars discrimination.

"We believe that freedom of expression for ourselves means freedom of expression for others", said Mike Berry, a First Liberty attorney, via Skype. However, yesterday the three-judge panel on the state appeals court ruled against the bakery, and now the bakers are deciding whether or not to appeal again.

The case could next go to the Oregon Supreme Court, KGW reported. In 2015, the couple was ordered to pay the Bowman-Cryers emotional distress damages.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments earlier this month in a similar case involving a bakery in Colorado.

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

They met with Aaron Klein, who asked for the date of the ceremony and the names of the bride and groom.

Oregon's anti-discrimination law states that "all persons within the jurisdiction of this state are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or age".

The same-sex couple who had tried to order the cake also released a statement, noting in part that, "without this ruling, businesses could determine who they serve", and that the decision shows that "Oregon will not allow a "Straight Couples Only" sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores".

Nancy Marcus, an attorney with LGBTQ legal and civil rights group Lambda Legal, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, said the ruling "is both critically important and completely unsurprising". A broad religious exemption to this law would permit any business to deny service to anyone, rendering Oregon's protections against discrimination meaningless.

The state fined the bakers after determining they violated a 2007 OR law that protects the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations.

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

The court did reverse one decision that said bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein violated state law by communicating their intent to discriminate against gay couples in the future, according to KGW-TV.


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