An Oregon bakery fighting a discrimination complaint because it wouldn’t make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple closed its doors on Saturday.
In a note taped to the bakery’s front door, owners Aaron and Melissa Klein wrote, “This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong. … The LORD is good and we will continue to serve HIM with all our heart.” In an interview on the Fox News Channel, Aaron Klein blamed the shutdown on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists who urged customers to boycott the bakery and threatened other vendors who did business with the couple.
On the Sweet Cakes by Melissa Facebook page, the couple said they would continue to operate the business out of their home. It is not immediately clear what effect that will have on the complaint pending against them.
In February, Laurel Bowman and Rachel Cryer filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries because the Kleins refused to make their wedding cake. Although the Kleins, who are Christians, say they have no problem serving homosexual customers, they don’t want to use their creative talents to participate in something they believe is wrong.
The state issued the official complaint on Aug. 13 and gave the Kleins 14 days to respond. Although Oregon’s constitution says marriage shall only be between one man and one woman, the state’s 2007 Equality Act protects LGBT people from discrimination in areas including employment, jury service, and public school education. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian said last month he wanted to “rehabilitate” Sweet Cakes, not shut the business down.
But Aaron Klein told WORLD in August that the business was already suffering. In an interview with a local television station, he said “mafia tactics” forced the couple out of their shop in Gresham. Even as they packed up their belongings, someone broke into their bakery truck and ransacked it.
“I hope that if nothing else, we’ve given people that believe the way we believe the strength to stand up,” Aaron Klein said. “I believe that we’re living in a time that’s very hostile towards Christians. Our First Amendment rights are being stripped away and I’m willing to stand up and take this fight.”