A bakery that caused a media storm by refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple has closed down – despite raising hundreds of thousands in donations.
Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes By Melissa hit the news in 2013, when owners Aaron and Melissa Klein refused to make a wedding cake for lesbian couple Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer.
At a cake tasting session for the Bowman-Cryers, the Kleins allegedly cited a passage from Leviticus calling gay people ‘abominations’.
After a discrimination complaint was filed over the incident, the Kleins posted the womens’ personal details on Facebook, leading to a years-long barrage of personal abuse against them.
In their legal defence, bakers later claimed that their deeply-held Christian values meant that they were unable to bake cakes that go against the Bible – despite happily making divorce celebration cakes and ‘gay cure’ cakes.
They were initially fined $135,000 for violating anti-discrimination laws by refusing to serve the couple, but a crowdfunding campaign backed by anti-LGBT evangelicals raised more than $460,000 for the Kleins.
But despite raking in thousands of dollars, the Kleins quietly shut down their business this week.
A statement shared on Facebook says: “We have closed Sweet Cakes. We appreciate everyone’s continued prayer and support.”
One comment said: “All goes according to God’s plan…perhaps if you had loved thy neighbor, as He commands, you’d still have a business. Perhaps you will learn a lesson from this.”
Another added: “So sad that you guys closed! I wanted you guys to bake me a cake of Satan so that I can express my deep love for him!”