State faults Gresham Bakery in same-sex wedding cake case

courtOregon Faith News Note: Last year a Gresham bakery business, Sweet Cakes owned by Aaron & Melissa Klein,  was approached with a customer who requested a cake to be made for their same sex wedding.   The owners refused and the issue was brought before the Bureau of Labor and Industries as a discrimination case.   Below are quotes on the latest developments on the Gresham Bakery same-sex discrimination cake case.

From KATU-2 & KBOI Salem,
  The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said Friday that the Gresham bakery, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, violated the civil rights of a same-sex couple when it denied service to them.The state labor department said it found during its investigation “substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination” when the bakery refused to bake a wedding cake for the couple.The department said private businesses are not allowed to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation.

From BOLI statement
“Under Oregon law, Oregonians may not be denied service based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The law provides an exemption for religious organizations and schools,but does not allow private business owners to discriminate based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot legally deny service based on race, sex, age, disability or religion. The investigation concludes that the bakery is not a religious institution under law and that the business’ policy of refusing to make same-sex wedding cakes represents unlawful discrimination based on sexual Orientation.”

Statement by Sweet Cakes bakery to KGW-TV
“At this point in time all we have to say is we expected this outcome as Brad Avakian made it clear with his statements at the beginning of this investigation. We plan to fight this and we maintain that the constitution protects our religious rights. And we are well within our rights to decline to be involved with a ceremony that goes against our religious beliefs.”

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