It’s getting costly to stand on your religious beliefs, Americans are learning.
In a final decision issued Thursday, the owners of an Oregon bakery were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple for whom they refused to bake a wedding cake.
At the time of the refusal, same-sex marriage was not legal in Oregon.
Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries issued its order against Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of Sweetcakes By Melissa, and ruled that the award represents “damages for emotional and mental suffering resulting from the denial of service,” according to KATU.com.
“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It is about a business’ refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal,” the order continues.
“Within Oregon’s public accommodations law is the basic principle of human decency that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, has the freedom to fully participate in society. The ability to enter public places, to shop, to dine, to move about unfettered by bigotry.”
Since the brouhaha began, the Kleins have had to move out of their storefront and work out of their home.
“This is a shocking result which shows the state’s relentless campaign to punish Oregonians who live and work according to their faith,” said the Kleins’ attorney, Anna Harmon.
“Aaron and Melissa have worked hard for what they have,” she added. “They are living on the fruits of American entrepreneurship. Now the State of Oregon, through an administrative agency, has ordered that all they worked for should be taken away simply because they declined to participate in an event which violated their religious beliefs.”
People soon took to social media to express their feelings about the case:
‘My gay marriage won’t hurt you!’ —>> Final order: Sweet Cakes bakery must pay $135,000 to lesbian couple http://t.co/dFioi3KvBU
— Sister Toldjah (@sistertoldjah) July 3, 2015
The Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol tweeted:
This should not happen in a free country. “State Silences Bakers Who Refused to Make Cake for Lesbian Couple…” http://t.co/SHBZYOHsbS
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 3, 2015
Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes considered the ruling a call to action:
Patriots – the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa are being persecuted by anti-Christian activists. Please help! http://t.co/DttSWLEKh3
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) July 3, 2015
But for pure prophecy, you can’t top the tweet that came from Breitbart News’ John Nolte — a week before the decision was handed down:
2005: Our marriage won’t affect your rights. 2014: Bake a cake or be destroyed. 2015: We won’t touch your church. Promise. Tee hee.
— John Nolte (@NolteNC) June 26, 2015
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