Diatribe: Melissa Klein Was Not “Forced” To Close Her Bakery.
In my hometown, there was a family-run clothing store on one of the old downtown streets that had been there for many years. It had survived many changes to the local economy and I never understood how it could compete with larger department stores. I imagine the family that owned it had deeply held religious convictions and did their best to run their business in accordance with their beliefs. I’m also quite certain that they obeyed the laws of the village, the county and the state.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin and applied to schools, workplaces and facilities that served the general public known as “public accommodations”. The Oregon Equality Act of 2007 extended these protections to include gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender citizens in the state.
In January 2013, Sweet Cakes By Melissa refused service to a lesbian couple looking for a wedding cake. The subsequent fallout included national media attention and a state investigation for anti-gay discrimination which were perpetuated by Klein’s continued actions including baking cakes for an “ex-gay” group.
Klein and her husband, Aaron, are now fighting a $150,000 lawsuit from the state that made her break into tears while discussing her passion for wedding cakes during a September 26th appearance at the recent Values Voter Summit. She told the audience that the couple was driven out of their small town business after they said it would “violate their religious beliefs” to do business with lesbian couple Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman.
Despite the fact that the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said there is strong evidence that the couple broke the law, they claim they were “forced” to shut down their bakery.
“I mean quite frankly, they didn’t just harass us, they harassed the other wedding vendors that we did business with. It cut off our referral system. We had to shut the shop down. It’s horrible to see your own government doing this to you.” – Aaron Klein
The fact is Melissa and Aaron Klein were not forced to close Sweet Cakes By Melissa. They broke the law and, consequently, chose to stop providing services in her community rather than follow the laws obeyed by competitors. In the time since their refusal of service, the Kleins have become martyrs and marketing tools for the anti-gay agenda and those opposed to marriage equality. They, and their radical supporters, ridiculously believe that their Constitutional right to freely exercise their religion is being violated. Nothing could be further from the truth. A few things to consider.
- The Kleins are free to believe whatever they want.
- There’s no law that says they have to run a bakery.
- It’s against state law to discriminate if they choose to do so.
Here’s a video of Melissa’s September 26th performance. Enjoy the well-timed applause. I think she put on quite a show.
Poor, poor, Melissa. Poor crying, sobbing, blithering Melissa. She can’t be part of any more “amazing special days” because she discriminates against same-sex couples and it’s against the law. Maybe she should’ve baked Rachel and Laurel’s cake. Maybe she should’ve been nicer instead of making a federal case. Maybe she should rethink her religion … the one she’s got now cost her $150k.
Of course, she’ll probably make plenty of bank on her book tour.
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