Tag Archives: same sex marriage

Supreme Court Liberals Find “Marriage” Extending to Same Sex Couples in Constitution

They found ‘marriage’ in the Constitution.

Photo: Supreme Court
Photo: Supreme Court
Look for updates all day.
Justice Kennedy says:
“Finally, this Court’s cases and the Nation’s traditions make clear that marriage is a keystone of the Nation’s social order. ” Duh. Then he ‘found’ it in the 14 Amendment.
Kennedy reaffirmed religious liberty rights, but his words don’t have the force of law as long, as we found out in the ObamaCare decision yesterday, the court can just erase, replace and divine what it wishes in law.
Justice Roberts, who rewrote ObamaCare twice, dissented.

Scalia dissented,writing,
“But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law.”

“So it is not of special importance to me what the law says about mar- riage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact— and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Consti- tution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected commit- tee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extrav- agant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most im- portant liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

On the issue of 14th Amendment coverage, Scalia continued:

“When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, every State limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so. That resolves these cases. When it comes to determining the meaning of a vague constitutional provision—such as “due process of law” or “equal protection of the laws”—it is unquestionable that the People who ratified that provision did not under- stand it to prohibit a practice that remained both univer- sal and uncontroversial in the years after ratification.12 We have no basis for striking down a practice that is not expressly prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment’s text, and that bears the endorsement of a long tradition of open, widespread, and unchallenged use dating back to the Amendment’s ratification. Since there is no doubt what- ever that the People never decided to prohibit the limita- tion of marriage to opposite-sex couples, the public debate over same-sex marriage must be allowed to continue.
But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law. Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its “reasoned judgment,” thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect.13”

McCain: ‘Administrative Law Judges’ Are Just One Reason Why the Outcome of The ‘Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ Case Was Baked In.

Who and what are ‘administrative law judges’ who apparently put Sweet Cakes by Melissa out of business for good?

sweet cakes

As we explained on this website yesterday, the bakers who refused to make a cake for a same sex wedding have lost their case before state appointed Administrative Law Judge. But there’s a story behind this story. 

At issue is the role and function of these “Administrative Law Judges” or “ALJs”.

For the uninitiated, ALJ’s are not actual judges nor are they part of our judicial branch of government. In Oregon, ALJ’s are agency employees whose job security depends on pleasing the statewide elected official (Secretary of State, Attorney General Bureau of Labor and Industries boss) who signs their paychecks.

In this case, Administrative Law Judge Alan McCullough works for Brad Avakian, so it’s little surprise this ALJ rubber stamped BOLI’s pre-determined outcome, much like city hearings officer do in local municipal contested case hearings.

McCullough previously made news when he ordered a Eugene store to pay a woman $60,000 for denying her service wih her”service dog.”

There’s more. As I pointed out here in 2013, now that the Sweet Cakes by Melissa case is left up to BOLI Director Brad Avakian the issue is likely over and done with. Avakian is hardly a fair arbiter in this case. Even though same sex marriage was not law when when Sweet Cakes case got started, Avakian helped set the stage as a legislator:

On its third reading, SB 2 was carried by Sen. Avakian and passed the state senate, 21-7, with two excused. All seven nay votes were Republicans, while four GOP senators – Frank Morse, Fred Girod, David Nelson and Jackie Winters – voted with the Democrat majority. SB 2 then went to the house, where it was amended to provide an exemption from the Act for “a bona fide church or other religious institution.” Notably, this amendment did not provide for an individual exemption based on that individual’s personal religious beliefs. SB 2 passed the house with amendments, 35-25, with four GOP members – Vicki Berger (Salem), Bob Jenson (Pendleton), Chuck Burley (Bend) and John Dallum (Hood River) – joining all 31 Democrats.

As I predicted back then, there are more problems Christians and others will confront because of this law:

…Oregon law presently does not require a church to provide the use of its facilities for same sex weddings (which are not legal in Oregon anyway – yet). However, if a church or religious institution operates a commercial or business activity, such as a thrift store, the religious exemption may not apply. But more importantly, the OEA’07 provides no religious exemption for individuals.

The Sweetcakes case presents an interesting legal argument in that, while on the surface the Kleins appeared to violate the OEA’07 by refusing to make the same sex wedding cake, they in fact refused to participate in an act that at present is not lawful in Oregon. …[T]he Kleins are not alleged to have told gay and lesbian customers they may not enter or shop at Sweetcakes by Melissa, nor have the Kleins refused to sell their products to any protected class – with one singular exception. Whether the BOLI staff, including the ALJ, agrees or not is doubtful. But consider the following hypothetical case.

Five members of a religious sect that practices polygamy – one man and four women – enter the bakery. The man tells the owner he wants a wedding cake to celebrate his pending marriage to all four of the women, who he lists as brides. The baker tells the man he and his companions are welcome to purchase anything in the store, but the baker will not make a wedding cake for a marriage act that not only violates the baker’s personal religious beliefs, but is not lawful in Oregon, which does not recognize plural marriages.

On its face, the baker has violated the OEA’07 by discriminating against the five customers, based on their religion, which is a protected class. But can the OEA’07 compel a “place of public accommodation” to participate in an act that is not lawful in Oregon? While there is no current Oregon case deciding that issue…

With an activist labor commissioner in Avakian on their side, one can expect more cases to be brought before BOLI or in civil court, claiming sexual orientation discrimination. Christian-owned businesses are particularly vulnerable to set-ups and shakedowns if they refuse to provide their services to a same sex couple or gay person, who may not sincerely want the service in the first place, but may be looking to a P Club type BOLI award.

That point was made by Aaron Klein during a presentation at the Family Research Center’s Values Voters Summit and excerpted here:

I could understand the backlash from the gay and lesbian community. I could see that; what I don’t understand is the government sponsorship of religious persecution.

Bruce McCain is an attorney in private practice, member of the Reynolds School Board, retired Multnomah County Sheriff’s Captain and a member of the VictoriaTaft.com Blogforce. 

Oregon Bakers Who Refused to Make Cake for Same Sex Wedding Lose Round

“Americans Should Not Have to Choose Between Adhering to Their Faith or Closing Their Business, But That’s What This Decision Means”

sweet cakes

Likening them to blacks who were denied public accommodation due to their skin color, an Oregon administrative law judge has ruled a lesbian couple was denied their rights when Oregon bakers refused to make a cake for their same sex wedding. See the ruling below.

Here’s the back ground from the Zero:

The controversy began in January 2013 when the [Aaron and Melissa] Klein turned away Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman from their bakery, saying that providing a cake for their wedding would have violated their Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage.

In August 2013, the women complained to the state Bureau of Labor and Industries. The agency conducted an investigation and in January 2014 brought charges that the Kleins had unlawfully discriminated against the couple because of their sexual orientation.

Oregon law bans discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in jobs and in places that serve the public, such as restaurants and bakeries.

One of the Kleins’ attorneys, Anna Harmon, says the Oregon law boils down to toeing the government line and selling out your faith or losing your business. 

The (administrative law judge) recognized that all of the State’s claims but one were baseless and not supported by the facts of the case,” she said in an emailed statement. “We view this as a partial victory. However, the (judge) ruled wrongly that the Kleins’ right not to design and create a work of art celebrating an event which violates the tenets of their religion is not protected by the Oregon or Federal Constitutions. This is a wrong and dangerous result for religious liberty and rights of conscience in Oregon…

Americans should not have to choose between adhering to their faith or closing their business, but that is what this decision means.

The Bureau of Labor and Industries Chief, Brad Avakian, has already telegraphed he’ll rule against the Kleins when he takes up the case in March. The Kleins tried unsuccessfully to get the far left former legislator kicked off the case. 

Comment on what you think of the case below.

Aaron and Melissa Klein talked about their business and the fallout of the case with the state of Oregon during the Family Research Center Voter Values Summit recently. In it Aaron presents a dilemma he sees between law and the ability to run a business:

I could understand the backlash from the gay and lesbian community. I could see that; what I don’t understand is the government sponsorship of religious persecution

Sweet Cakes Bakery



Dennis Richardson would deal with same-sex marriage law more ethically & respectfully than John Kitzhaber ever has.

The Oregon Republican Governor candidate Richardson would honor the law Kitzhaber conspired to subvert.

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 9.52.07 PM
A whip smart, decent man who knows what it means to honor and uphold the law–something John Kitzhaber has refused to do.

Continue reading Dennis Richardson would deal with same-sex marriage law more ethically & respectfully than John Kitzhaber ever has.

Judge rules Oregon voters may not define what “marriage” is; declares same sex marriage constitutional right

Judge Michael McShane rebuffs efforts by National Organization for Marriage to defend Oregon constitution which state attorney general refused to do.

The Portland Mercury ballyhoos same sex marriage. Changes Portland's iconic sign from "Made in Oregon" to "Gayed in Oregon."
The Portland Mercury ballyhoos same sex marriage. Changes Portland’s iconic sign from “Made in Oregon” to “Gayed in Oregon.”

US District Court Judge Michael McShane ruled today Oregon voters may not define marriage as they did in the 2004 measure which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. 

McShane, who’s gay, chose not to recuse himself from the hyper political issue, arrogating to himself the decision. 

Early in the battle, Oregon’s Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, announced she would follow US Attorney General Eric Holder’s advice and not defend the Oregon constitution which had been amended in 2004 to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The National Organization for Marriage attempted to defend the law in a late motion. The decision rebuffed attempts by the outside group to mount a defense of Oregon law.

In his 26 page ruling, whose conclusion read more like a political tract than a court decision, McShane fixed on anti bullying as the chief aim of his decision:

I remember that one of the more popular playground games of my childhood was called “smear the queer” 7 and it was played with great zeal and without a moment’s thought to today’ s political correctness. On a darker level, that same worldview led to an environment of cruelty, violence, and self-loathing. It was but 1 ~86 when the United States Supreme Court justified, on the basis of a “millennia of moral teaching,” the imprisonment of
gay men and lesbian women who engaged in consensual sexual acts. Bowers, 478 U.S. at 197 (Burger, C.J., concurring), overruled by Lawrence, 539 U.S. at 578. Even today I am reminded of the legacy that we have bequeathed today’ s generation when my son looks dismissively at the sweater I bought him for Christmas and, with a roll of his eyes, says “dad … that is so gay.” 

McShane lightly mocked “slippery slope” arguments in his decision in which he listed the steps leading him to his decision. He cited the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the state law treating same sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples in adoption and domestic partnerships as examples of reaching out to equalize same sex couples. In other words, he basically said he was left no alternative but to rule Measure 36 unconstitutional because of all the efforts to include same sex couples in Oregon law affirming the very slippery slope argument he rejected.

 

Bruce McCain: Legal Woes Not Over for Oregon Bakery Forced Underground for Refusing to Make Cake for Same Sex Wedding

Sweet Cakes by Melissa Closed Its Doors and Became “Home Business,” But Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries Will Continue Investigation Into Discrimination Against Same Sex Couple.

2007 anti discrimination law does not provide for any exceptions based on personal religious beliefs.

Sweet Cakes by Melissa Co-Owner, Aaron Klein
Sweet Cakes by Melissa Co-Owner, Aaron Klein

The Gresham bakery that made international headlines earlier this year for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple has closed its Gresham brick-and-mortar operation in the face of an ongoing investigation by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and a vicious retaliatorycampaign of intimidation by gay-rights activists. Unfortunately for the bakery’s owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein, merely closing up shop and relocating to a home-based business will not halt the BOIL investigation. Nor will moving home likely stop the emails and telephone threats which so far have expressed desire for one or more of the Klein’s five children to fall ill and for Aaron Klein to be shot and raped.

At the heart of the controversy is a BOLI complaint filed by Rachel N. Cryer of Southeast

Far Left Activist Brad Avakian is Author of 2007 Anti Discrimination Law and Now BOLI Commissioner
Far Left Activist Brad Avakian is Author of 2007 Anti Discrimination Law and Now BOLI Commissioner

Portland against Sweetcakes by Melissa, apparently a sole proprietorship (more on that later), alleging a violation of ORS 659A.403(1) and 659A.409, which makes it illegal in Oregon to discriminate in the selling of goods or provision of services on the basis of, among other things, sexual orientation.

Based on the results of a similar BOLI case involving a downtown Portland bar, the bakery’s owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein, will almost surely be found in violation of this relatively new statute and face fines, penalties and damages that can easily reach six figures. Making matters worse for the Kleins is that because of the nature of their business structure, they may be personally liable for these damages, which could spell financial ruin for the young Christian family of seven who live in Sandy, Oregon. 

During the 74th legislative session in 2007-2008, Democrats owned an 18-12 advantage in the senate and held a narrow 31-29 edge in the house. Those numbers, along with a sympathetic Democratic governor, provided gay rights supporters with their best opportunity in the post-Oregon Citizens Alliance years to pass a statewide law recognizing sexual orientation as a protected class. In 2007, then state Senator Brad Avakian (D) helped lead the passage of SB 2, “relating to sexual orientation discrimination,” otherwise known as the “Oregon Equality Act of 2007.” Today, Avakian is Oregon’s elected Labor Commissioner and as such, commands the Bureau of Labor and Industries, which been busy lately enforcing the OEA’07 relating to sexual orientation discrimination claims.

As introduced in 2007, SB 2 added to the list of protected classes in Oregon “sexual orientation,” which “means an individual′s actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or gender identity, regardless of whether the individual′s gender identity, appearance, expression or behavior differs from that traditionally associated with the individual′s sex at birth.”

On its third reading, SB 2 was carried by Sen. Avakian and passed the state senate, 21-7, with two excused. All seven nay votes were Republicans, while four GOP senators – Frank Morse, Fred Girod, David Nelson and Jackie Winters – voted with the Democrat majority. SB 2 then went to the house, where it was amended to provide an exemption from the Act for “a bona fide church or other religious institution.” Notably, this amendment did not provide for an individual exemption based on that individual’s personal religious beliefs. SB 2 passed the house with amendments, 35-25, with four GOP members – Vicki Berger (Salem), Bob Jenson (Pendleton), Chuck Burley (Bend) and John Dallum (Hood River) – joining all 31 Democrats.

SB 2 sailed through the senate with the house amendments on a 19-7 vote, was signed by Governor Kulongoski on May 9, and became Oregon law on January 1, 2008. It took five years before the first major BOLI case involving sexual orientation was complete, and the news does not bode well for the Klein family.

P-Club and the T-Girls

Cassandra Lynn Was Paid $50,000.00 When She and Other Transvestites Were Booted from a Bar.
Cassandra Lynn Was Paid $50,000.00 When She and Other Transvestites Were Booted from a Bar.

In August 2012, Avakian’s Civil Rights Division launched an investigation into a North Portland bar known then as the Portsmouth Club or P Club, and its owner Christopher Penner, which were accused of violating the Oregon Equality Act by telling a group of transsexuals, known as the Rose City T-Girls to stay out of his bar because he was losing money when other patrons thought the P Club was a “tranny bar” or “gay bar.” It took BOLI only two months to conclude its investigation, finding “substantial evidence that the bar, through owner Chris Penner, sought to keep a group of transgender patrons out of the establishment based on their gender identity.”

With the investigation complete, Avakian then filed formal charges against the P Club and Penner through his Administrative Prosecution Unit or APU. A hearing was held in May 2013 before an administrative law judge, who also is employed by BOLI. Not surprisingly, the BOLI-employed ALJ found against the P Club and Penner and ordered Penner to pay 11 members of the T-Girls a total of $400,000 in compensation for their troubles. While Penner apparently remains in business today, he has since changed the name of his establishment from the P Club to The Twilight Room Annex.

Meanwhile in East Multnomah County, a commercial vacancy exists where a small business once stood and a hard working family faces potential bankruptcy over a same sex wedding cake if and when Avakian drops his BOLI hammer on them.

Sweetcakes by Melissa

The facts of this case are really not in dispute. On January 13, 2013, Rachel Cryner and her same mother entered Sweetcakes by Melissa in on NE Division Street in Gresham. Cryner and her mother met with owner Aaron Klein to order a wedding cake. Klein asked the names of the bride and groom and the women replied there would be no groom, but two brides. Klein told the women the bakery does not make wedding cakes for same-sex couple planning, citing his personal religious beliefs. Klein later told the media that the bakery does not otherwise discriminate against gay patrons, but draws the line at baking a wedding cake for same-sex couples.

Cryner filed her BOLI complaint on August 8, 2013, almost a year to the day after the P Club complaint was filed. Given the previous time line, the Klein’s can expect the BOLI investigation to be complete by October at the latest. And the findings will not be favorable to the Kleins.

Based on a strict reading of the OEA’07, Sweetcakes by Melissa appears to meet the broad definition of a “place of public accommodation,” which is defined as, “any place or service offering to the public accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges whether in the nature of goods, services, lodgings, amusements or otherwise.” The Kleins openly admit the bakery does not make wedding cakes for same sex weddings, but also insist they sell every other product to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation. It will not be difficult for the BOLI investigators to find “substantial evidence” that the bakery refused to sell a wedding cake to a lesbian couple.

No Religious Exemption

Although Aaron Klein cites his personal religious beliefs as the basis for refusing to make a same-sex wedding cake, Oregon law as expressed in the OEA’07 does not provide for an individual religious belief exemption to complying with the law. As noted above, when SB 2 moved from the senate to the house, it was amended to include an exemption for a “bona fide church or religious institution.” But even that exemption only applies “to housing or the use of facilities based on a bona fide religious belief about sexual orientation as long as the housing or the use of facilities is closely connected with or related to the primary purposes of the church or institution and is not connected with a commercial or business activity that has no necessary relationship to the church or institution.”

In other words, Oregon law presently does not require a church to provide the use of its facilities for same sex weddings (which are not legal in Oregon anyway – yet). However, if a church or religious institution operates a commercial or business activity, such as a thrift store, the religious exemption may not apply. But more importantly, the OEA’07 provides no religious exemption for individuals.

Closing Business Does Not Close Investigation

The fact that the Kleins are shutting down their store front business and reportedly re-locating to a solely home-based business will not shut down the BOLI investigation. Furthermore, it is not clear what kind of business entity Sweetcakes by Melissa actually is. According to the Corporation Division, “Sweetcakes by Melissa” is a registered Assumed Business Name in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties, with Aaron Klein as the authorized representative and Melissa Klein as the registrant and owner. It appears the bakery is either a sole proprietorship or general partnership, which means the individual owner(s) are personally liable for all company debts, without the limited liability protection offered by a corporation or limited liability company (LLC).

While the $400,000 P Club BOLI award should give the Kleins reason for concern, such financial ruin is not a guaranteed outcome. Once the BOLI investigation in complete, there is an opportunity for BOLI to reach a negotiated settlement between the parties. Such agreements can often include a money award, a promise to do or not do something, or a combination thereof. Given the fact that in these types of contested case hearings, in which the case manager, chief APU prosecutor and ALJ hearing the case are all employed by Avakian, the Kleins have little chance of prevailing at the contested case stage.

Possible Defense and Appellate Arguments

I Now Pronounce You Wife and Wife
I Now Pronounce You Wife and Wife

The Sweetcakes case presents an interesting legal argument in that, while on the surface the Kleins appeared to violate the OEA’07 by refusing to make the same sex wedding cake, they in fact refused to participate in an act that at present is not lawful in Oregon. Unlike the complainants in the P Club case, the Kleins are not alleged to have told gay and lesbian customers they may not enter or shop at Sweetcakes by Melissa, nor have the Kleins refused to sell their products to any protected class – with one singular exception. Whether the BOLI staff, including the ALJ, agrees or not is doubtful. But consider the following hypothetical case.

Five members of a religious sect that practices polygamy – one man and four women – enter the bakery. The man tells the owner he wants a wedding cake to celebrate his pending marriage to all four of the women, who he lists as brides. The baker tells the man he and his companions are welcome to purchase anything in the store, but the baker will not make a wedding cake for a marriage act that not only violates the baker’s personal religious beliefs, but is not lawful in Oregon, which does not recognize plural marriages.

On its face, the baker has violated the OEA’07 by discriminating against the five customers, based on their religion, which is a protected class. But can the OEA’07 compel a “place of public accommodation” to participate in an act that is not lawful in Oregon? While there is no current Oregon case deciding that issue, a recent New Mexico Supreme Court case does not bode well for the Kleins on that theory, either.

Wedding Photographers, also

The New Mexico case involved wedding photographer Elane Huguenin, co-owner (with her husband) and chief photographer for Elane Photography LLC, who refused to participate in a same sex wedding based on her personal religious beliefs. Like Oregon, New Mexico has both an anti-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and a BOLI-like state agency to process complaints. Also like Oregon, the Land of Enchantment did not recognize same sex marriage, a fact that made no difference in the case. The New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruled against the photographer and fined her $7,000. She appealed and the case landed before the state’s highest court.

The New Mexico court ruled unanimously against Elane Photography, LLC, holding that the wedding business was a place of public accommodation, Elane had refused to provide its services to a couple based on their sexual orientation and that the New Mexico statute (like Oregon’s) provided no exemption for an individual’s personal religious beliefs. In a sobering concurring opinion in the case, Justice Richard C. Bosson specifically had this to say to and about the Huguenins:

“The Huguenins today can no more turn away customers on the basis of sexual orientation—photographing a same-sex marriage ceremony—than they could refuse to photograph African-Americans or Muslims. All of which, I assume, is little comfort to the Huguenins, who now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives. Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views…

“The Huguenins are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish; they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.

“In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship. I therefore concur.”

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service?

This Sign May Be Illegal in Oregon
This Sign May Be Illegal in Oregon

A common response by many who have followed the Kleins’ case centers on the oft-used idea that a business “reserves the right to refuse service to anyone.” While that familiar phrase may have been commonplace a generation ago, today’s anti-discrimination laws have rendered that idea a relic of a not-so-distant past. Others cite the familiar “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” signs in support of the Kleins. But at least for now, being shirtless and shoeless are not stand-alone protected classes in Oregon. Replace that sign with, “No Blacks, No Jews, No Mexicans” based on the “right to refuse service to anyone” argument, and the dynamic changes. With the passage of OEA’07, one can now add the LGBT alphabet – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered – to the list of persons protected from discrimination by places of public accommodation.

With an activist labor commissioner in Avakian on their side, one can expect more cases to be brought before BOLI or in civil court, claiming sexual orientation discrimination. Christian-owned businesses are particularly vulnerable to set-ups and shakedowns if they refuse to provide their services to a same sex couple or gay person, who may not sincerely want the service in the first place, but may be looking to a P Club type BOLI award.

Aaron and Melissa Klein are a Christian couple trying to support their family as hard-working, small business owners. By remaining true to their faith by not participating in a same sex wedding contrary to their sincerely-held religious beliefs, they have found themselves under the heel of the government’s boot. One thing is certain: if Brad Avakian’s BOLI does not put them out of business, the LGBT mafia likely will. After all, as New Mexico Justice Bosson reminds us: being “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire [our] lives … is the price of citizenship” in today’s America.

Bruce McCain is an attorney in private practice, member of the Reynolds School Board, retired Sheriff’s Captain and is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce. 

Christian Bakery in Oregon Goes Underground After Radical Gay Targeting

Christian Bakery Forced Underground for Refusing Business to Same Sex Couple
Christian Bakery Forced Underground for Refusing Business to Same Sex Couple

The Christian owners of a Gresham, Oregon bakery have been forced to close their bakery after being targeted by radical gays for their refusal to bake a wedding cake for a same sex marriage. ‘Sweet Cakes by Melissa’ will go underground instead. According to Willamette Week, the business will now become an at-home business.

This is what Christian persecution looks like.

Whether you support same sex marriage or not, the fact that a company should be forced to endorse a marriage that runs counter to their religious beliefs is an affront to the free exercise of religion. Is cake-making a public accommodation? Sweet Cakes by Melissa is run by a Christian couple who run their business on Christian values. 

Willamette Week claims they don’t. 

To test out which religious convictions would cause the shop to refuse business, Willamette Week called up the shop and asked them to make cakes for divorce, out-of-wedlock children, human stem cell research and a pagan solstice (with a pentacle design requested for the cake). All requests were responded to positively, with price quotes.

Perhaps the newspaper reporter should have come into the shop and tried to order the cake as the same sex couple did. Did Sweet Cakes by Melissa decorate the cakes? No. Did they take the order? No.

I’m not in support of discrimination. I’m in support of Christians not being bullied for their beliefs.

The Oregonian reports the lesbian couple has filed a complaint with the State,

Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries‘ civil rights division will investigate to determine if the business violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which protects the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Sweet Cakes owners say they and their vendors have been threatened according to the Washington Times,

The Kleins cited their Christian beliefs of traditional marriage when they turned down that business gig, The Blaze reported. But the lesbian couple filed a complaint with the state, accusing the shop owners of discrimination.

Since, they’ve been hounded by vicious telephone calls and emails.

Some of those threats were shocking. One emailer wished for the couple’s children to fall ill. Another expressed hope that Mr. Klein should be shot and even raped, The Blaze reported.

And yet another wrote: “Here’s hoping you go out of business, you bigot.”

The couple said on top of that, their vendors were “badgered and harassed” into stopping all associations with the bakery.

This is what State supported “tolerance” looks like.

Somewhere there’s a balance of values. This isn’t it.