The Oregon bakery whose owners refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple has been found guilty of violating the women's civil rights.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said Friday that its investigation found substantial evidence that Sweet Cakes by Melissa, located in Gresham, had violated the state's 2007 law prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation, The Oregonian reported.

Aaron Klein, who owns the shop with his wife Melissa Klein, declined to make the cake for the women on January 17, 2013. Klein told the women that they do not make cakes for gay weddings.

“I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God,” Klein previously told King5. “A man should leave his mother and father and cling to his wife … that to me is the beginning of marriage.”

“They can buy my stuff,” Klein said in explaining that he does not hate gays. “I'll sell them stuff … I'll talk to them, it's fine.”

State officials will attempt to reach a settlement through a conciliation process.

“They're being punished by the state of Oregon for refusing to participate in an event that the state of Oregon does not recognize,” said Herbert Grey, who represents the Kleins.

Oregon recognizes gay couples with domestic partnerships, not marriage. A referendum on the issue of marriage is expected to be on the 2014 ballot. However, the state does recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay couples. Gay couples can legally marry in nearby Washington, Canada and California.

In September, the Kleins closed their bakery and moved their business to their home. They left behind a sign in the window which read, “Religious freedom is under attack in Gresham.”