No fine for Oregon baker who refused service to gay couple
After all the fuss about an Oregon baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, the state says there is “not an investigation into this issue.”
The dispute involves a Portland woman, her fiancee and fiancee’s mother. In February, the mom and one of the brides-to-be went to Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham to order a wedding cake.
Aaron Klein, who runs the bakery with his wife, says same-sex marriage goes against his Christian faith so he would not make a wedding cake for the couple.
After that, the small bakery gained international attention with some supporting their decision and others abhorring it. Duff Goldman, of the Food Network show, “Ace of Cakes,” offered to make cake for the Portland couple for free.
Goldman, who owns Charm City Cakes, also said he’d personally drive it up from Los Angeles and deliver it for their wedding.
Despite the concern and controversy, there likely will be no fine for the small bakery.
The Oregon Equality Act of 2007 expressly prohibits businesses from discriminating against customers on the basis of their sexual orientation.
An initial complaint was filed with the Oregon Department of Justice (their state’s attorney general’s office) fraud division, according to spokesman Jeff Manning. He says they get about 12,000 complaints a year about businesses in the state, but this incident doesn’t fall under the regulations involving fraud.
They recommended it be turned over to the Bureau of Labor and Industries, which has a civil rights division responsible for employers in the state.
“We do not have a complaint filed against Sweet Cakes by Melissa so there’s not an investigation into the issue,” says Charlie Burr, a bureau spokesman.
It would seem a case that was never officially opened, is now closed.
The bakery owner says the rush of business they received from people who supported his position has slowed down, but they are busier than they’d normally be for this time of the year.
They still get a few phone calls denouncing their business, he says.
Klein has no regrets. He’s determined to continue standing up for what he and his wife believe – marriage should be between a man and a woman.
“I’d do it all again,” says Klein. “I am standing up for what I believe is right. I wouldn’t change anything about what I did.”
By LINDA THOMAS