Turns out this anti-gay bakery just can’t back down
An anti-gay bakery has changed it’s mind and will now appeal a decision ordering it to pay a lesbian couple.
The owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages last year, having lost a long-running court case after they refused service to a gay couple for their wedding cake.
Melissa Klein and her husband Aaron eventually agreed to pay up, after spending months refusing to pay up.
However, now they have decided they don’t want to let it go and have launched a fresh appeal. This is despite the fact that the Kleins already dropped off a cheque for $136,927.07 to the Bureau of Labor and Industries.
To make matters worse, they have also received new legal backing for their case in the form of a former White House Counsel.
C. Boyden Gray, a former White House Counsel for President George H.W. Bush, has been put in touch with the couple via Texas’ First Liberty Institute and is named in a new Court of Appeal submission, dated April 25.
“In America, you’re protected by the Constitution and you’re also innocent until proven guilty,” Kelly Shackelford, First Liberty’s President and CEO.
The bakers said it would violate their religious beliefs to provide cakes to gays because they believed same sex marriage was “wrong” and they “didn’t want to be a part of [it].”
However, the Kleins were found guilty of discrimination in 2014, falling foul of Oregon state laws which ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, and were later ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to the lesbian couple.
The bakery owners, however, have incredibly insisted they cannot afford to comply with the Bureau of Labor and Industries order, claiming ‘financial hardships’.
This claim is surprising, given that $400,000 was raised online after the anti-gay American Family Association (AFA) rallied its supporters to donate to Sweet Cakes to cover the fine.
The attorney for the couple said the decision to award damages is being appealed adding: “They continue to stand on their well-established constitutional rights to live and work based on their values and beliefs.”
Labor bureau spokesperson Charlie Burr previously told the Oregonian: “It’s difficult to understand the Kleins’ unwillingness to pay the debt when they have, very publicly, raised nearly a half million dollars.
“They are entitled to a full and fair review of the case, but do not have the right to disregard a legally binding order.”