Christian Bakery Must Pay Damages to Gay Couple
The owners of a bakery in Oregon are being ordered to pay "damages" to Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, a lesbian couple, after declining to bake a cake for their same-sex wedding.
A hearing is scheduled in March to determine how much the owners of Sweet Cakes Bakery will be required to pay.
The judge said Aaron and Melissa Klein discriminated unlawfully against the lesbian couple by denying them full and equal access to a place of public accommodations.
The owners say they don't have a problem serving gays and lesbians, but they cannot make a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding because of their religious beliefs.
"First Amendment, Constitution. Freedom of religion. I'm free to exercise my religion however I see fit," Aaron Klein said. "If I'm told to make a wedding cake for a same sex marriage, I feel that I'm violating my beliefs. I don't think I should have to do that."
The Kleins had to close their shop and work from home after gay rights activists organized protests and threatened vendors against doing business with them. Their children were subjected to death threats, Fox News host Todd Starnes reported.
Investigators for the State Bureau of Labor and Industries recommended each of the Kleins pay $75,000 in damages.