Sex and desserton January 24, 2014 @ 8:34 am (Updated: 8:43 am - 1/24/14 )
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has now ruled that Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, violated the gay couple's civil rights.
The state will now try to arrange a settlement between the two sides. And if that doesn't work, according to law professor Jim Oleske of Lewis & Clark college:
"Then the state can decide to bring formal charges," said Oleske.
The bakery lost so much business, the Kleins closed it down, and now just sell cakes out of their home. So you could argue that they've already been punished by the free market. But they could still be in trouble with the state.
"There's still the question, and this is a little bit of a novel question, of whether there is still a public accommodation covered by the law if they are selling cakes from their home to the public at large," says Oleske.
Aaron and Melissa Klein argue that as Christians, forcing them to be part of a gay wedding violates their civil rights. But the professor says about the only way out would be to reorganize as a church.
"If they reorganize as a non-profit religious institution that's when they might be able to fit within the exemption, but so long as they remain a for-profit commercial business they would be covered by the anti-discrimination prohibition," says Oleske.
So cakes made with holy flour, sacred butter, blessed sugar, and sanctified eggs? Anything's possible.
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