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ICC Note: In January of 2013, Aaron Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa was approached by a woman requesting a cake for her same-sex wedding. After apologizing and offering her his other products, he explained that the bakery does not make cakes for same-sex events. After the woman filed an official complaint through the state, an investigation began based on Oregon’s non-discrimination laws. Following the guilty verdict, the bakery is now awaiting their penalty which could range as high as $75,000 to $150,000, causing bankruptcy for the family.

By Heather Clark

02/03/2015 United States (Christian News Network) – A judge with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has ruled that the Christian owners of a bakery in the state are guilty of discrimination for declining to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, thus moving them to the sentencing phase where heavy fines could bankrupt their business.

Spokesman Charlie Burr wrote in a statement on Monday that the bakers, which regularly serve homosexuals, could not use their religious beliefs as a reason to refuse the order because a business is not considered a “religious institution.”

“The law provides an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but does not allow private businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot legally deny service based on race, sex, age, disability or religion,” he said. “The bakery is not a religious institution under the law.”

As previously reported, Aaron and Melissa Klein operate Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, which is now operated from the couple’s home after the Kleins’ shut their doors due to harassment. In January 2013, Aaron was approached by a mother and her daughter as the two were interested in a cake for the daughter’s upcoming wedding—to her lesbian partner.

“My first question was what’s the wedding date,” Klein told television station KTW in Portland. “My next question was [the] bride and groom’s name. … The girl giggled a little bit and said, ‘It’s two brides.’”

He stated that he then informed the women that the bakery does not make cakes for homosexual events.

“I apologized for wasting their time and said that unfortunately, we do not do same-sex marriages,” Klein explained.

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