The owners of a Portland-area bakery who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple and were ordered to pay them $135,000 in damages have hit back at the ruling.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery were ordered to pay $60,000 in damages to Laurel Bowman-Cryer and $75,000 in damages to Rachel Bowman-Cryer for emotional suffering.
He added: ‘For years, we’ve heard same-sex marriage will not affect anybody. I’m here firsthand to tell everyone in America that it has already impacted people. Christians, get ready to take a stand. Get ready for civil disobedience.’
The Kleins refused to make the couple, who held a commitment ceremony in June 2013, a cake after learning that they were lesbians in January of that year because they disapprove of gay marriage for religious reasons.
Administrative Law Judge Alan McCullough issued a proposed order last week that meant that they must pay a bill of $135,000.
But Klein said he and his wife will ‘request a stay’ in an effort to delay the judge’s order that they must pay damages to the two women.
Klein, a Christian and father of five, said that he thinks the timing of the case was planned to coincide with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide.
Earlier this year the Kleins were able to raise more than $100,000 from anonymous donors on a fundraising page before it was shut down for violating GoFundMe’s terms of service.
The family will still receive the $100,000 they raised, though it is now urging potential donors to give them money on a fundraising site run by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham.
A lawyer for the Bowman-Cryers said Friday about the $135,000 amount that ‘This is a proposed order and we view this matter as continuing to be active litigation’, refusing to comment further.
The case follows similar incidents in Colorado, where a Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding reception cake for a gay couple was found to have discriminated against them in 2013.
Another baker in the state who refused to bake cakes with Bible quotes and anti-gay messages was found not to have discriminated the Christian customer earlier this year.
Indiana passed a law that many saw as allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBT people earlier this year, though it has since amended it to say that discrimination is not allowed.
A pizza parlor in the state that said it would deny service to gay couples raised more than $840,000 from donors online after it closed following backlash on social media for its decision.