Judge to Sweet Cakes: Pay $135K to lesbian couple

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An administrative law judge proposes that the owners of an Oregon bakery pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple refused service more than two years ago.

The judge, Alan McCullough, ruled in January that Sweet Cakes by Melissa discriminated against Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer by refusing to bake them a wedding cake.

The bakers cited their religious beliefs. The case is one that has been cited in the national debate over religious freedom and discrimination against gays.

Friday’s proposed order dealt with the award for emotional suffering.

The sides will review the proposal and have the chance to file exceptions before Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian issues a final order.

Bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein closed their Gresham store in 2013 and operate the business from home.

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