Oregon Bakers Who Refused to Make Gay Wedding Cake Lose Appeal

Oregon Bakers Who Refused to Make Gay Wedding Cake Lose Appeal”

An appeals court ruled Thursday against the OR bakers who were fined $135,000 for declining to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

A judge in OR ruled that Sweet Cakes by Melissa unlawfully discriminated against the lesbian couple by refusing to render service for their wedding.

Following the incident, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found the Kleins in violation of a 2007 state law that protects the rights of LGBTQ people in employment, housing and public accommodations.

The bakery owners were ordered to pay a combined 135,000 dollars for emotional damages to the victims.

The Kleins had appealed the BOLI commissioner's decision, arguing that it violated their constitutional right to free expression.

The bakery owners made national headlines after they refused to bake a cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer in February 2013. "With this ruling, the Court of Appeals has upheld the long-standing idea that discrimination has no place in America". "OR will not allow a "Straight Couples Only" sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores", the couple stated.

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In a statement, Avakian said the Appeals Court ruling "sends a strong signal that OR remains open to all".

The First Liberty Institute, which represented the Kleins, expressed disappointment with the ruling. Their attorneys said that they are considering options for a next step, which could include appealing the decision to the Oregon Supreme Court.

Shackelford added, "In a diverse and pluralistic society, people of goodwill should be able to peacefully coexist with different beliefs".

The panel of appellate judges concluded that baking wedding cakes does not constitute "speech, art or other expression" protected by the First Amendment.

The Oregon ruling comes as the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up the question of whether wedding vendors who disagree with gay marriage must be forced to service same-sex wedding ceremonies, even if doing so would violate their religious convictions.

A decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case is expected by late June.

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