Oregon Bakery Fined $135,000 For Discriminating Against Gay Couple. GoFundMe Bans Fundraising Page
Over two years ago in January of 2013, Rachel Bowman and her mother went to their local Gresham, Oregon bakery, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, to order a wedding cake. The owners of the bakery Aaron Klein and his wife Melissa Klein refused the order, their reason, as they told Rachel and her mom, was that Rachel was marrying a woman, and baking a cake for a same-sex couple, they said, violated their Christian faith.
“I’m very sorry, I believe I have wasted your time,” Aaron Klein says he told Rachel Bowman in his court testimony. “We do not do cakes for same sex weddings.” Klein testified he also quoted Leviticus to Bowman and her mother.
Yesterday , a judge from the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) awarded Rachel Bowman-Cryer $75,000, and her wife, Laurel Bowman-Cryer, $60,000 in damages for their emotional suffering, and the discrimination they faced at the hands of the Klein’s and because of the verified death threats they received after their personal contact information was posted to Aaron Klein’s personal Facebook page.
Brad Avakian, The Oregonian reports.
“The facts of this case clearly demonstrate that the Klein’s unlawfully discriminated against the Complainants,” the BOLI ruling states. “Under Oregon law, businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion. Our agency is committed to fair and thorough enforcement of Oregon civil rights laws, including the Equality Act of 2007.”
The Klein’s have become well paid martyrs for religious right, have traveled the country for the past two years being well paid to attend anti-gay events such as the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Conference have claimed the lawsuit had bankrupted them and forced them out of business, which were scripted lies.
After Melissa Klein took to Facebook to announce the ruling, and to link to a GoFundMe account set up for them but not for long
Lisa Watson, of the bakery Cupcake Jones, started her own campaign to contact GoFundMe and report the campaign as being in violation of their terms of service. Watson’s own post on Facebook stated, “this business has been found GUILTY OF DISCRIMINATION and is being allowed to fund-raise to pay their penalty. The GoFundMe terms of service address hate speech, bigotry, criminal activity, and sexism among other things in their campaign…The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting.”
Late Friday night GoFundMe removed the Sweet Cakes campaign.
“After careful review by our team, we have found the “Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa” campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions. The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal. While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live. However, the subjects of the “Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa” campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”
Melissa Klein blamed Satan.