An Oregon bakery found guilty of
discriminating against a lesbian couple has appealed the ruling to
the U.S. Supreme Court.
In June, the Oregon Supreme Court
refused to review a lower court's ruling upholding a decision by the
Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries that found Aaron and Melissa
Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, guilty of
unlawfully discriminating against the couple when they refused to
make a cake for the women's commitment ceremony. The agency imposed
a $135,000 fine on the Kleins.
Aaron Klein declined to make the cake
for the women on January 17, 2013. Klein said he does not hate gays
but that making a cake for a same-sex wedding would violate his
faith. (At the time, Oregon had the nation's most robust domestic
partnership law. Following a federal judge's ruling in May, 2014,
Oregon became the 18th state to allow gay and lesbian
couples to marry.)
The Kleins are represented by the
Texas-based law firm First Liberty, which describes itself as “a
national religious freedom law firm.”
On Monday, the
group appealed its case to the Supreme Court, asserting a First
Amendment right to turn away same-sex couples asking for
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court
ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to sell a cake to a
male gay couple for their wedding reception. (The couple married in
Massachusetts because at the time Colorado did not allow such
unions). The high court found that the state had an anti-religion
bias, but it did not rule on the merits of the case.
Court narrowly sides with baker who refused gay couple.)
Four justices must vote in favor of
taking the case for it to be accepted.