Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon, were forced to close their shop doors and move the business into their home following a state discrimination complaint filed by a lesbian couple in August.
According to Oregon Live, Rachel N. Cryer, 30, went to the Gresham bakery on January 17 and met with Aaron Klein to discuss the creation of a wedding cake. “I told him, ‘There are two brides and our names are Rachel and Laurel,’ ” Cryer said. However, the Kleins are Christians who do not agree with same-sex weddings and turned down the business.
The couple eventually filed a state discrimination complaint in August, claiming that this act violates the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which protects the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations.
“We don’t have anything against lesbians or homosexuals,” co-owner Melissa Klein said in August. “It has to do with our morals and beliefs. It’s so frustrating because we went through all of this in January, when it all came out.”
Some of the public seemed to agree, and reports showed an uptick in business following the incident from people who supported Sweet Cakes’ position. However, gay rights supporters saw things differently, protesting the business. According to The Washington Times and other conservative-leaning publications, some of the telephone calls and emails were “vicious” and the business’ vendors were “badgered and harassed” into stopping all associations with the bakery.
Whether or not those descriptions are accurate is up for interpretation and verification, but the protests did eventually take their toll on Sweet Cakes. On August 30 the company’s Facebook page showed the following message: “This will be our last weekend at the shop we are moving our business to an in home bakery. I will post our new number soon. Email will stay the same firstname.lastname@example.org.”