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m3n4.net July 22, 2018


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

30 December 2017, 12:37 | Ivan Casey

Court of Appeals Rules Against Christian Bakers Who Refused Same-Sex Couple's Request for a Wedding Cake

Appeals court upholds fine against Christian bakers who refused to make same-sex wedding cake

The owners of the since-closed Gresham bakery - Aaron and Melissa Klein - argued that state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian violated state and federal laws by forcing them to pay emotional-distress damages of $135,000 to the lesbian couple Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer.

The Kleins appealed Avakian's decision, claiming that their religious beliefs do not allow them to support a same-sex wedding in any way, and that their free-speech rights would be abridged if they were compelled to apply their artistry in the service of such a wedding.

"We believe that freedom of expression for ourselves means freedom of expression for others", said Mike Berry, a First Liberty attorney, via Skype. The Kleins have directed us to no evidence whatsoever that ORS 659A.403 was enacted for the objective of singling out religiously motivated action, or that BOLI has selectively targeted religion in its enforcement of the statute.

The case could next go to the Oregon Supreme Court, KGW reported.

A Christian bakery which rejected a lesbian couple's request for a wedding cake has been ordered to pay them $135,000.

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

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 Kleins refused to provide a wedding cake to lesbian couple Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer back in 2013, which led to a complaint being filed against the bakers with Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries. "OR will not allow a "Straight Couples Only" sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores".

Marcus said she hopes the "fundamental constitutional principle recognized by the OR court" on Thursday will "be affirmed by the Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop as well".

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The religious rights legal group First Liberty Institute defended the Kleins before the court.

Through tears, Klein said she poured her heart and passion into each cake and designed each one to fit each couple perfectly.

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

"I'm thankful we actually got to have our day in court", Aaron Klein said.

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