Discrimination | Gay Marriage | Oregon

Oregon Bakery Says No To Gay Wedding Cakes

A bakery in Oregon has refused to sell a cake to a lesbian after finding out it would be used for her wedding. Aaron Klein, one of the owners of the husband and wife-run Sweet Cakes by Melissa says he does not believe in same-sex marriage.

AaronkleinVia King 5 News, Klein recounts the episode when one of the brides-to-be came in to order the cake with her mother:

"My first question is what's the wedding date," said owner Aaron Klein. "My next question is bride and groom's name ... the girl giggled a little bit and said it's two brides." Klein apologized to the women and told them he and his wife do not make cakes for same-sex marriages. Klein said the women were disgusted and walked out. "I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God," said Klein. "A man should leave his mother and father and cling to his wife ... that to me is the beginning of marriage."

Klein says he does not hate gays and sells them items from his store everyday - just not wedding cakes.

"They can buy my stuff," said Klein. "I'll sell them stuff ... I'll talk to them, it's fine." What is not fine, according to Klein, is a marriage between people of the same sex. He will always stand by that conviction. "I'd rather have my kids see their dad stand up for what he believes in then to see him bow down because one person complained."

Since this violates one of Oregon's anti-discrimination laws, the Oregon Department of Justice is currently investigating the incident.

Watch news segment from King 5, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Comments

  1. He's wearing a PA in his ear! LOL!

    Posted by: Max | Feb 4, 2013 12:49:05 PM


  2. Where Oregon's anti-discrimination laws T-bone into the state's vociferous defense of 1st amendment speech (our state that decided that nude dancing was form of 1st amendment freedom of expression; we take this stuff seriously)....hmm, who'll win?

    The guy might receive a slap on the wrist from the state, but then he's in line to become a first amendment cause celebre. I say rather than trying to shut him down via lawmakers, just make sure everyone you know buys their wedding cakes elsewhere. Let free market economics do the rest.

    And re: 2004--Oregon's unofficial motto is: "Oregon--Don't Tell Us What To Do." There is a VERY strong libertarian streak here, more so I believe than the far-right conservative Christian crowd thinks. What boomeranged in 2004 was that the people felt that the legislature tried to do an end-run around the citizenry, and that provoked a backlash. Now, however, with Washington having legalized same-sex marriage and California presumably not far behind (once Prop 8 is overturned), THEN Oregon will get on board with its neighbors. It's not a "we have to follow the crowd" mentality, it's a "we do things at our own pace--not yours." Next time it comes up to a vote (hopefully 2014), enough of the "old guard" from 2004 will have died off to strike the ban from the state Constitution. (Wouldn't expect anything less from a state created on Valentine's Day.)

    Posted by: Dback | Feb 4, 2013 1:24:58 PM


  3. Suggestion for a protest: Everyone protesting dressed as Marie Antoinette, while chanting and carrying signs saying "Let Them Eat Cake*."

    Let's show this business just how absurd their policies really are.

    Posted by: Acronym Jim | Feb 4, 2013 3:09:39 PM


  4. ACRONYM JIM: I think the reference would be lost on the bakery owners and their religious pals. Lol

    Posted by: HUH | Feb 4, 2013 4:47:02 PM


  5. YELP cleared off all the negative comments about their business....

    They have cleared all the negative comments off their FB page leaving only those religious robots that agree with them...

    Put fingers from tattooed arms in pierced ears (breaking Leviticus 19:28) and refuse to listen to anybody who disagrees with your hypocritical self!

    Posted by: HUH | Feb 4, 2013 4:53:12 PM


  6. David Hearne, if those are the kind of intellectually-dishonest hoops you need to jump through in order to convince yourself that your family aren't ashamed of you ,by all means sugarpie, keep it up. Nobody else is fooled, however.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 4, 2013 4:56:48 PM


  7. I just posted a detailed reply to Marcus' claim about Oregon law and, while it was supposedly accepted, it never showed up. I won't waste my time redoing that. The short answer is that the URL I gave clearly indicated that people are protected against discrimination based on sexual orientation and it was part of a document on an official web site maintained by the state of Oregon containing the 2011 edition of state laws. A list of changes for 2012 did not suggest anything would be different.

    If Marcus wants to claim otherwise, he should be able to provide a link to an official Oregon web page containing the statute and indicating that it represents the law at some point after 2011. Whatever is going on, the document I found clearly indicated that at one point in time, Oregon had forbidden discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 4, 2013 5:07:52 PM


  8. Yelp has taken down all reviews of this place since the story broke. They're back up to 4 stars.

    Posted by: Bryan | Feb 4, 2013 5:12:15 PM


  9. @Posted by: Bill | Feb 4, 2013 1:42:41 AM: Just to be clear, there seem to be two individuals posting as Bill (the post cited was from someone else and I don't agree with him).

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 4, 2013 6:55:52 PM


  10. @David Hearne: laws prohibiting discrimination against customers of a business have been around for decades, with the list of the criteria for discrimination growing with time. The California one was enacted in 1959, has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court - http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=481&invol=537 has one example - so David's suggestion to read the constitution appears more than a little bit lame.


    Posted by: Bill | Feb 4, 2013 7:17:29 PM


  11. @Acronym Jim: that's a funny idea, but there is a better way to protest. Tell them you want a wedding cake with two guys on it, but it is not for a real wedding but rather for a play where an attempted wedding turns into a complete disaster, and that the play makes fun of same-sex weddings. They might make that cake, because the reason furthers their claimed beliefs.

    This gives them the chance to clearly shoot themselves in the foot - if sued for discrimination, they'd have to explain why they can make a same-sex wedding cake for one customer and not another. They won't be able to claim "we can't make one because we don't have a supplier for figurines depicting same-sex couples."

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 4, 2013 7:28:30 PM


  12. So there is a Facebook page dedicated to boycotting this establishment. Guess, who pipes in and leaves a comment on the page? Yep, "Mr. Hypocrite" the owner. You click on his page and surprise, surprise, he likes the NRA and Fox News. Interestingly he only has 39 friends. I imagine he must be a pleasure to be around which explains why he has so many friends.

    Hmmm kind of funny that he is quoting from the book of Genesis from the Old Testament when another Old Testament bible quote says he himself is an abomination. Those tattoos and ear piercings are a sin. Leviticus 19:28: "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD." I hope a store refuses to serve him in kind.

    Posted by: BETTY | Feb 4, 2013 9:01:06 PM


  13. What's wrong with someone refusing to make a cake for a gay person? Are they following their religious beliefs? Yes. We have freedom of religion? Yes! So, how can they tout one of The Bible's teachings and own a cake shop that preys on the weakness of Gluttons? Huh? Gluttony is a deadly sin. Yes. They freely serve obese people. Oh...
    Freedom to partially practice your religion does not negate the laws of the land. Laws were put forth to protect citizens from the Govt, religion and each other. This business of a store owner thumbing his nose loudly at Oregon State Law is appalling and hypocritical when he does it under the obviously partial shroud of Jesus. By their ideology, the Sharia law of Islam should be practiced outside the laws of this free land, but that's not the case now is it? This is another abhorrent case of: Condemn and Exclude (but excluding the bits of The Bible they don't wish to follow themselves).

    Posted by: Aunt Paddy | Feb 5, 2013 10:37:25 AM


  14. So what if this guy didn't want to be part of celebrating two homosexuals marrying, due to his religious beliefs. Isn't that his right? It's a private business and therefore his loss or gain. That couple can freely go elsewhere where they will get service. He was not rude or cruel, he just briefly explained his belief. Now, I wonder what would have happened had they gone into a Muslim bakery and asked.......hmmmmm. Why not do that, and publicize THEIR response...DO it...try it. I dare any homosexual couple wishing to have a wedding cake made to do so.

    Posted by: Reilly | Feb 5, 2013 10:38:45 AM


  15. Oh, the Muslim "strawman" argument.

    Posted by: HUH | Feb 5, 2013 12:26:49 PM


  16. He is actually quite smart in some ways, he saw Chick-fil-A sales boom as homophobes and racists swamped those outlets in a backlash against gay people (look up Chick-fil-A Appreciation day) and thinks he can drum up business by taking an anti gay stand, he expects that the heteroAparteid crowd will line up at his door for his baked goods. And they probably will till the state shuts him down, because in Oregon law denying this lesbian a wedding cake bears exactly the same consequences as denying a black person baked goods. Or a Jewish person, or a handicapped person, or a Mexican national, or Catholic, or you get the picture, it simply is strictly prohibited.

    Posted by: Markus | Feb 5, 2013 12:30:41 PM


  17. @Steve, there IS such an inclusive law in Oregon in public accomodations, in Oregon gay people are part of the protected classes that you cannot discriminate against.

    @Will, churches are specifically and federally exempt from anti discrimination laws. They cannot be made to marry anybody ever, if they do marry people it is by their choosing and their own standards.

    That is part of the reason why a lot of the arguments against gay marriage fail; people say their churches should not be forced to marry gay people, well guess what? They can't be made to marry anybody anyway, gay or black or any other consideration.

    Aside from that the arguments about gay marriage pertain to how gay people are treated in CIVIL LAW, not in churches or "the eyes of god." The majority do not even believe there is a god no less how it's eyes perceive us. They might claim to in polling, but judging by their actions they simply use their so called belief as a shield from treating people equally, to protect their bigotry. Either that or they do not care if they go to hell.

    What if Muslims were to say they have a right to glue the buttocks of gay men closed and leave them to die from inability to excrete waste? It is their religious belief so the law dare not interfere with that right? Guess what, this is a fairly common form of "justice" in the Muslim world, especially in Iraq and Iran. Look it up if you don't believe me.

    Posted by: Markus | Feb 5, 2013 12:43:04 PM


  18. Yes Markus, but, he is also alienating gay friendly people as well as everyday people who may not be the loudest pro-gay supporters, but are still be turned off by this behaviour. Also, he is working in the wedding industry. Let's face it, there are a lot of gay people who work in that industry and plan and provide services to a lot of STRAIGHT weddings. They may just not deal with him anymore, thus cutting off a lot of business for him.

    Posted by: HUH | Feb 5, 2013 12:43:15 PM


  19. There is a Facebook page to boycott Sweet Cakes.

    "Boycott Sweet Cakes by Melissa".

    Posted by: HUH | Feb 5, 2013 2:02:15 PM


  20. I am in full support of the owner of the cake shop and hope that he has the fortitude to continue his belief. The state should not be able to interfere in his christian belief. I am praying for him, his wife, and their business. I can tell by all the comments that most of you do not have an inkling about the Bilble or what it says. I feel compassion for your ignorance because you will find that unless you change your destiny is not where I would want to go. I also pray to our eternal God for you.

    Posted by: A Child of the LORD | Feb 6, 2013 12:13:27 AM


  21. Hi Child:

    He is a business person and he must adhere to state laws in regards to his business. Just because you are Christian you don't get special rights and your "belief" does not trump state law. Clinging to a belief when it violates state law is not a get out of jail free card. There are many beliefs in your bible that are against the law. Nice try.

    By the way, he is in violation of God's law: Leviticus 19:28 (just one of many).

    Get over your holier than though self. I don't need you to pray for me. Pray for your fellow bible thumpers who judge and treat others differently and use your "bible" a reason. You will need it on your judgement day. God would not approve.

    Posted by: BETTY | Feb 6, 2013 12:27:13 PM


  22. Serve cakes, not judgement!

    Posted by: BETTY | Feb 6, 2013 4:17:28 PM


  23. I hope that isn't man-made fibres he's wearing, that's a real big no-no in the Bible.

    Posted by: Melanie Hoyle | Feb 9, 2013 1:17:01 PM


  24. Just an FYI, everyone throwing around the tattoo bit, that is in the old testament. The old testament was a guideline, essentially, for jews, and does not apply to Christians. If you actually studied Christianity, instead of basing your knowledge off of common misconceptions, you'd understand that the Old Testament is also known as the "laws" and when Christ died, He released His people from the Law, thus making the OT non applicable to Christians today.

    I find it interesting that, I, being an Atheist, knows this.

    I also find it interesting how angry some of you people are. A Gay couple has the right not to do business with a Christian (or any religion that is anti-gay) business, but a business cannot refuse service if it goes against their beliefs and moral grounds? Hmm.

    Posted by: Bill | Mar 5, 2013 11:05:47 AM


  25. Would you force a custom cake bakery to make a cake for a Klan rally?

    The difference between discrimination and upholding the rights of someones beliefs lies in the choice. Deciding to join together legally is a choice, as deciding to join the Klan is a choice. To expect a cake artist to muster the inspiration to create a cake for a gay couple, is like forcing an artist to paint portraits of Hitler. You can't legislate artistic will or vision. It would be as much of a disservice to buy your cake their, as it would be to force them to make it.

    Posted by: andreasjva | Jun 7, 2013 8:28:13 AM


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