Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am staunchly in favor of full gay rights, including marriage. To me, it is a simple issue of personal freedom – along with the fact that no one\’s sexual orientation is anyone\’s business but their own.
That said, however, the following story absolutely disgusts me.
Here it is, via excerpts from Kelsey Harkness\’s article at dailysignal.com:
Abakery owner in Oregon broke down in tears while discussing thefallout of her and her husband\’s decision not to bake a weddingcake for a same-sex couple on the basis of their Christian beliefs.
Earlierthis year, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found”substantial evidence” that Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners ofSweet Cakes by Melissa, discriminated against the lesbian couple.
Theynow face a fine in excess of $150,000…enough to bankrupt the couple and their five children.
Theordeal started in February 2013, when Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowmanasked the bakery owners to design a wedding cake for their same-sexcommitment ceremony.
Atthe time, Oregon defined marriage as the union between one man andone woman; voters overwhelmingly approved the constitutionalamendment in 2004.
Aarontold The Daily Signal he thought he was “well within” his legalrights to decline the service, citing his traditional beliefs that amarriage is between a man and a woman.
InJanuary 2014, the Kleins were charged with violating Oregon\’sEqualityAct of 2007, a law that protects the rights of the LGBTcommunity.
Itwasn\’t until months later, May 19, 2014, that a federal judge woulddeclare Oregon\’s amendment unconstitutional, paving the way forsame-sex marriages.
“Ironically,the state was in violation of its own anti-discrimination laws,”said Aaron.
“Thiswas not the first time we\’ve served these girls,” said Aaron,maintaining their refusal was not about the couple\’s sexualorientation, but rather, about their religious convictions.
This, to me, is sickening.
I fully support Rachel Cryer and Laura Bowman\’s desire to be married to one another – which, though I don\’t know for sure, I assume they now are.
Why are they so intolerant of the Kleins\’ deeply held beliefs that they would do this to them?
And why is the state of Oregon so intolerant of beliefs which depart from its preferred view of things that it would fine Mr. and Ms. Klein for seemingly acting within its own laws at the time?
As Aaron and Melissa Klein pointed out, they have served Ms. Cryer and Ms. Bowman in the past. It is not like they aren\’t welcome in the bake shop (if they were denied service there I would be writing a very different blog). The only issue here is that the two couples do not share the same views on what marriage is.
For most people, the resolution of this situation would have been as simple as getting the wedding cake from another bakery – and probably not patronizing the store again.
But that wasn\’t enough. These two bastions of tolerance decided instead to go to war against the Kleins – in a way that would put them out of business, and almost certainly bankrupt their family (even if the fine is tossed out, what about their legal bills?).
My congratulations to Rachel Cryer, Laura Bowman and the state of Oregon. They\’ve struck quite a blow for the LBGT community. I\’ll just bet that their actions have made many, many people more tolerant of non-heterosexuals, by showing how open they are to differing lifestyles and belief systems.
I hope they\’re very proud of themselves for this great “accomplishment”.