An Oregon couple who were forced to pay $135,000 after declining to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple had their first appearance before the Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday, as they continue to fight back against the massive judgement.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, are arguing that the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries — the state agency responsible for discrimination claims — violated their religious liberty, due process and free speech, after forcing the bakers to pay $135,000 to the lesbian couple at the center of the dispute.
The Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries case was argued before a three-judge panel on Thursday, with conservative legal firm First Liberty Institute — which is representing the Kleins — arguing that the government “should never force someone to violate their conscience or their beliefs,” according to a press release.
Problems for the Kleins first began in 2013 when they declined to bake a cake for Rachel Cryer-Bowman and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, citing their Christian stance on same-sex nuptials. After a complaint was waged by the same-sex couple, the state stepped in and awarded the massive sum of money, claiming the Kleins were guilty of discrimination.
Read more here.
Listen to the Kleins discuss their story on a past episode of “The Church Boys” podcast:
SOURCE: Faithwire – Billy Hallowell