Oregon appeals court takes up Sweet Cakes case

Civic Affairs

Case began in 2013 in Gresham

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — The latest twist in the ongoing legal battle of Sweet Cakes By Melissa landed at the Oregon Court of Appeals Thursday afternoon.

In 2013, the Gresham bakery denied service to a lesbian couple who wanted a wedding cake made. The owners, Melissa and Aaron Klein, cited their religious beliefs in choosing not to serve them. But in 2015, the Oregon Bureau of Labor ruled against them and said the Kleins violated the state’s non-discrimination statutes.

Rachel Bowman-Cryer speaks outside the Oregon Court of Appeals after a hearing in the Sweet Cakes by Melissa case, January 9, 2020 (KOIN)

They were fined $135,000.

A crowdfunding account was set up on the Samaritan’s Purse website for the Kleins to help pay that fine.  Samaritan’s Purse is an evangelical Christian organization run by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham. 

Late in 2015, the Kleins paid the fine to the Bureau of Labor and Industry, who said they would hold the money until all appeals were completed.

Melissa and Aaron Klein listen in the Oregon Court of Appeals hearing on the Sweet Cakes by Melissa case, January 9, 2020 (KOIN)

Then in June 2019, the US Supreme Court told the Oregon Court of Appeals to review that decision following a ruling they made in the similar case involving a Colorado bakery.

KOIN 6 News will have more information when the Court of Appeals rules.

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