OR appeals court upholds damages in gay wedding cake case

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

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

Judge Chris Garrett wrote in his opinion that although Aaron and Melissa Klein, former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, may have honest religious objections to making gay wedding cakes, people who are opposed to interracial marriages could also ask for the same exemptions, if granted.

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.

Furthermore, the judges found that the Kleins intentionally inflicted emotional harm on the Bowman-Pryors by sharing their address and contact information online and urging Christians to bombard the couple with hate mail and try to have their children taken away. "Under Oregon law, that is illegal". Ultimately, the mess ended up before the Oregon Court of Appeals, which at long last issued its final ruling yesterday.

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

But yesterday, the Oregon Court of Appeals let the original decision stand, with the three-judge panel refusing to overturn the ruling made by the state's labour commissioner a year ago.

First Liberty, one of the nation's most prominent religious liberty law firms, represented the Kleins. "The Oregon Court of Appeals decided that Aaron and Melissa Klein are not entitled to the Constitution's promise of religious liberty and free speech".

Appeals court upholds fine against Christian bakers who refused to make same-sex wedding cake
Oregon Court Upholds $135000 Fine Against Christian Bakers Who Refused to Bake Gay Wedding Cake

28, the court affirmed BOLI's conclusion that the Kleins violated the civil rights of the couple and Oregon's law that businesses not discriminate based on sexual orientation, as well as the associated damages.

Though the couple repeatedly served customers of any sexual orientation, they did not feel comfortable custom-designing the wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. 'In a diverse and pluralistic society, people of good will should be able to peacefully coexist with different beliefs'.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments earlier this month in a similar case involving a bakery in Colorado. According to documents from the case, Rachel and her mother left the shop, but returned a short time later.

The Bowman-Cryers released a statement through their attorney that said the ruling proves "discrimination has no place in America". Orgeon will not allow a "Straight Couples Only" sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores.

The Masterpiece ruling could have a profound impact on both religious-freedom laws in the US and anti-discrimination laws that protect the LGBT community.

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