Appeals Court Rules Against Oregon Bakery That Turned Away Gay Couple
Appeals Court Rules Against Oregon Bakery That Turned Away Gay Couple
Armando Franca AP
By Dennis Hinzmann Fri
31 December, 2017, 06:22
The Kleins had appealed the BOLI commissioner's decision, arguing that it violated their constitutional right to free expression.
In a statement, he said: "Today's ruling sends a strong signal that or remains open to all".
The Kleins' couple said they still receive threats against them.
The highest court heard oral argument earlier this month in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case stemming from Christian baker Jack Phillips' refusal to make a same-sex wedding cake for a gay couple.
Melissa and and Aaron Klein made national headlines in 2013 when they refused to bake a cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, citing their Christian 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.
Shackelford added, "In a diverse and pluralistic society, people of goodwill should be able to peacefully coexist with different beliefs".
Even if the Kleins "imbue each wedding cake with their own aesthetic choices", the court said, other people will not necessarily "experience any wedding cake that the Kleins create predominantly as "expression" rather than as food".
The First Liberty Institute, which wrote a brief in support of the Kleins, was dissappointed by the ruling.
"For the past 10 years, the Oregon Equality Act of 2007 has protected Oregonians from unlawful discrimination in housing, employment and public places", Avakian said in a statement.
They met with Aaron Klein, who asked for the date of the ceremony and the names of the bride and groom.
The bakery case is one of many disputes nationwide since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June 2015 to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
The mother told Klein she had once thought like him, but her "truth had changed" when she had two gay children. Donations poured in. Some reports say the couple were given well over a half-million dollars in donations via crowdfunding sites, but those figures don't include money sent to the couple directly.
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".
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