Sweet Cakes by Melissa, owned by Aaron and Melissa Klein, turned away Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer in 2013 and found themselves at the center of a legal battle that resulted in an administrative judge declaring in April 2015 that the bakers should pay $135,000 in damages. The Oregon Bureau of Labor (BOLI) agreed to the sum in July 2015.
The Kleins paid the fine in December but it is being held while they appeal.
Sweet Cakes by Melissa closed the doors of their brick and mortar business in 2013 but had been continuing to sell goods online until a few months ago, according to attorney Hiram Sasser.
“The Kleins closed their business months ago and simply now updated their page to reflect that,” Sasser told Patriot Post. “We are continuing our appeal and look forward to achieving justice for them and all people of faith who may find themselves in similar circumstances in the future.”
They raised a record amount on fundraising platform Continue to Give from supporters, bringing in over $350,000. To date that number has ballooned to over $420,000.
The Bowman-Cryers discussed the pain of the situation in interviews with The Oregonian and The Advocate. They spoke about the hate mail they received, and even read some of it in an interview produced by The Oregonian.
The Kleins read mean Tweets speaking out against them in late 2015 in a video produced by The Daily Signal.
“In 2007, Oregon passed one of the nation’s strongest LGBTQ non-discrimination laws recognizing that Oregonians believe in treating others as we ourselves would want to be treated,” Amy Herzfeld-Copple and Nancy Haque, Co-executive directors, Basic Rights Oregon told GayStarNews.
“The Sweet Cakes case really struck a chord with many Oregonians, because the business owners believed they had the right to deny services because of their religious beliefs. Oregonians know that our religious beliefs don’t entitle any of us to discriminate against others.”