A same-sex couple, not the Kleins, were the victims in the Sweet Cakes By Melissa case. The couple has not received a penny, the Kleins are still raking in the dough.
When Aaron and Melissa Klein refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, then followed up that illegal act by posting the couple's home address on Facebook â€“Â leading to death threats and attacks so heinous the same-sex couple almost lost their foster children â€“Â no one imagined that the Kleins would be viewed as the "victims" and the recipients of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And yet, they are.
Oregon's decision against the Kleins stated itsÂ "Final Order awards $60,000 in damages to Laurel Bowman-Cryer and $75,000 in damages to Rachel Bowman-Cryer for emotional suffering stemming directly from unlawful discrimination."
Not for refusing to bake a cake, as many right wing and even mainstream media sites falsely state.
The Kleins' actions caused a nightmare for one family, and a boondoggle for themselves so lucrative it might reach one million dollars.
On Monday, the Sweet Cakes By Melissa owners finally paid the damages ordered by the State of Oregon, but the victims who were to receive the $135,000 won't see a penny of it until the Kleins exhaust all appeals. That could be years.Â
Meanwhile, the Kleins continue to play the victim, and continue their lucrative fundraising efforts.
In July, NCRM looked at all the various fundraisingÂ efforts the Kleins had created, and conservatively estimated they had raked in over $400,000. Many estimates today put that at about $500,000, but they haven't been updated, nor could they include the donations the Kleins received via their P.O. Box address and from at least two other religious charities.
On one donations page alone, at Continue To Give,Â 61 people on Tuesday donated to the Kleins. Some of the donations are anonymous, and some of the dollar amounts are concealed, but just that one fundraising page has earned the Kleins about $411,000 from 8857 donors. That's an impressive average of about $46 per person.
One donor, a businessman, yesterday wrote that his "companies unequivocally oppose the sin of being gay or lesbian."
"I do however respect their right to be who they are and do what they want to do," he added. "God gives us all choice and will not violate that. But he does that we love our neighbor and I love all people. This is an important step. Hopefully the first step in the fight for Christians to take their freedom back."
Another wrote, "I pray that others who believe in the Freedom of Religion will continue to give to help this family out. First it will be Christians who will be targeted by LGBT organizations ( who support pederasts ) then it will be the Jews, Muslims and anyone else who refuses to bow to the homosexual agenda. It's not about equality folks, its about power !! God bless the Kleins."
And another from yesterday said, "Keep the faith... your not alone...we will retake our nation...you have waken many people up to the fact of the takeover... Now it is our turn to take what has been taken and more.."
The Kleins' GoFundMe page, before the company closed it down, netted the bakers about $60,000.Â
Christian evangelical activistÂ Franklin GrahamÂ has been hostingÂ a fundraisingÂ campaignÂ for the Kleins via his Samaritan's Purse charity, although he has not revealed how much he's raised for them.
The Kleins, via their Facebook page, are promoting other fundraisers too, likeÂ oneÂ by the Lynchwood Church of God, andÂ their P.O. box addressÂ for those who wish to send them cash or checks directly.Â
At this point there's no way to calculateÂ the vast fortune the Klein's anti-gay hate has netted them. They say, "we are having to be cautious and wise in our use of the funds raised on our behalf because of potential tax liability and other variables over which we have no control."
One week ago today on their Facebook page â€“Â from which supporters can directly donate to their Continue To Give accountÂ â€“ the Melissa Klein wrote,
"Im not able to share what all is going on with our case. But I will share that its getting harder and harder. I never imagined going through a struggle this hard. Im doing my best to keep my eyes on Jesus and trust in Him. Please be praying for us. Please pray for trust, strength, wisdom, and peace. I know that He is only molding us. I thank you all that have lifted our family in prayer â™¡â™¡â™¡."
Image via The Heritage Foundation/YouTube