Breitbart: An Oregon couple fined $135,000 for refusing to make a cake for a lesbian wedding appeared before the Oregon Court of Appeals for the first time on Thursday, in an effort to have the judgment overturned.
In one of the most notorious religious liberty cases in recent years, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, were found guilty of discrimination in 2013 of for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because it violated the tenets of their Christian faith.
The court sentenced the Christian couple to a fine of $135,000 for the “emotional damage” they had allegedly caused the lesbian pair. Rachel Cryer-Bowman and Laurel Bowman-Cryer had accused the Kleins of “mental rape,” adding that they had suffered a “loss of appetite” and “impaired digestion” from the ordeal, which remarkably led to simultaneous “weight gain.”
In 2015, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian slapped a gag order on the Kleins, following the couple’s interview with Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. During the interview, Aaron said among other things, “This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong.”
“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” Avakian wrote.
“This effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights,” wrote the Kleins on their Facebook page. “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech.”
“We lost everything we loved and worked so hard to build,” she said.
From the beginning, the Kleins have made it clear that they have never refused service to anyone based on sexual orientation, but their religious convictions did not permit them to participate in a gay wedding, which they believe to be immoral. more