• Source: FRCAction/YouTube
  • Almost Everything You've Heard About The Anti-Gay Sweet Cakes Wedding Cake Case Is (Probably) Wrong

    Last week, Oregon ordered the owners of the infamous "Sweet Cakes by Melissa" bakery to pay damages to a lesbian couple they had discriminated against, and subsequently harassed — and conservative media, of course, got it all horribly wrong. 

    In January 2013, when Laurel Bowman and Rachel Cryer planned to marry, they selected a bakery they had done business with before: Sweet Cakes by Melissa. The couple had no idea what horrible anti-gay discrimination and acrimony the bakery owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein, had in store for them — simply because they are gay.

    Four years earlier, the Bowman-Cryers moved from Texas to Oregon seeking an inclusive community and friendlier state. They settled into the Portland suburb of Gresham. A few years later, with marriage equality nearing, the couple hoped to adopt their foster kids, and to tie the knot!

    Cryer wanted a grand wedding. Her mother came to town, and they visited a local bridal show where they noticed the Sweet Cakes by Melissa booth. They'd ordered from Melissa's Sweet Cakes once before — for Cryer's mother's wedding — and they enjoyed it. So, they scheduled a Sweet Cake tasting for the following day.

    When Cryer and her mother arrived at Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Aaron Klein ushered them to his office, where he then asked for the names of the bride and groom. Told there would be two brides, he refused service right then and there. "I believe I have wasted your time," he claims to have said. "We do not do cakes for same-sex weddings."

    Crying and apologizing to her mother, who Cryer felt she'd deeply embarrassed, she headed to the car. A few moments later, her mother returned to the bakery to defend her daughter. She reasoned with Aaron Klein, saying that she'd once felt as he did, but after having two gay children, her "truth had changed."

    In response, Aaron Klein referenced a Bible verse from Leviticus — which in context, he'd cited perniciously — to call the Bowman-Cryer family "abominations," which he denies. 

    When they arrived back home, Cryer retired to bed, distraught and questioning nearly everything. Bowman tried to console her, without success. Bowman always viewed herself as Cryer's protector, and wondered if a wedding was a good idea if it came with such heavy cost to her family's emotional well being. One of their kids became upset amidst the emotional tumult.

    This was the second time they'd faced discrimination, just trying to plan a wedding as a gay couple. Determined in defending her fiancé and trying to make the world a better place, Bowman filed a consumer complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ).

    She wrote:

    "In november of 2011 my fiancé and I purchased a wedding cake from this establishment for her mother's wedding. We spent 250. When we decided to get married ourselves chose to back and purchase a second cake. Today, January 17, 2013, we went for our cake tasting. When asked for a grooms name my soon to be mother in law informed them of my name. The owner then proceeded to say we were abominations unto the lord and refused to make another cake for us despite having already paid 250 once and having done business in the past. We were then informed that our money was not equal, my fiancé reduced to tears. This is absolutely unacceptable."

    Cryer spent the most part of the next few days in bed, recovering as her loved ones took to actions. Cryer's mom left a review on the Sweet Cakes' Facebook page, cautioning customers on the bakery's secret "no same-sex wedding" policy. Bowman sent an email to their wedding venue, doing similarly.

    It wouldn't be long till Sweet Cakes' referral network began to dry up. The people of Gresham, Oregon knew discrimination is wrong — and they'd prefer not to be associated with that sort of bigotry.

    The Kleins did not go out of business nor did they go bankrupt, contrary to what the right wing claims. They chose to close their brick-and-mortar shop and take their business online, as many companies do. 

    Later, the Oregon DOJ sent Cryer's consumer complaint to the Kleins, with a cover letter requesting that they respond to the complainants. It was an attempt to encourage reconciliation.

    Instead, Aaron Klein posted the discrimination complaint to Facebook (not taking the precaution of redacting the couple's name and address from the document). "This is what happens when you tell gay people you won't do their 'wedding cake,'" he posted.
     
    The Kleins then took to the news and media. They cozied up to anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, campaigning at appallingly anti-gay hate rallies, for their business' totally-fictional right to discriminate against LGBT people.

    After filing the discrimination complaint, the Bowman-Cryers became the victims of death threats — as well as outrageous and horrific claims by conservative media outlets and anti-gay groups.

    After the ruling was finalized, in stories about the discrimination case, some right wing sites, and some anti-gay users of social media depicted gays, and implicitly the Bowman-Cryers, as fascists, the BOLI as the "Minister of Thoughtcrime," and the $135,000 fine as a "gay fascism tax."

    All they'd done was file a discrimination complaint. That's all.

    Meanwhile, Bowman & Cryer remained so humbly quiet, concerned with their relationship and family. Sadly, they feared that the negative media attention stirred by the Kleins could endanger their care for and the planned adoption of their two foster children. (The kids' adoption has since been finalized, thankfully.)

    Fortunately, the good State of Oregon has public accommodation laws protecting minorities from discrimination. Even better, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) proved so-very capable in investigating and enforcing those laws. Their Final Order against Aaron & Melissa Klein eloquently cut through the cake to the underlying legal matter, discrimination:

    This isn't about cake. It is about a business' refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.

    Within Oregon’s public accommodations law is the basic principle of human decency that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, has the freedom to fully participate in society. The ability to enter public places, to shop, to dine, to move about unfettered by bigotry.

    The agency announced the order in a press release, writing:

    The BOLI 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. The amounts are damages related to the harm suffered by the Complainants, not fines or civil penalties which are punitive in nature.

    The Final Order notes that the non-economic damages are consistent with the agency’s previous orders, such as an earlier ruling against a Bend dentist In the Matter of Andrew W. Engle. In that case, BOLI awarded a Christian employee $325,000 in damages for physical, mental and emotion suffering due to religious discrimination and harassment.

    According to BOLI's reasoning, a portion of those emotional damages resulted from the Kleins' public statements and actions in response to receiving the complaint.

    "The Agency's theory of liability is that since Respondents brought the case to the media's attention and kept it there by repeatedly appearing in public to make statements deriding Complainants, it was foreseeable that this attention would negatively impact Complainants, making Respondents liable for any resultant emotional suffering experienced by Complainants. The Agency also argues that Respondents are liable for negative third party social media directed at Complainants because it was a foreseeable consequence of media attention."

    It's important to note, as the Washington Post's Eugene Volokh pointed out, that the "agency's theory of liability" – the agency being BOLI – was rejected by the final determining authority, BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian, as stated in the final finding of facts:

    The Commissioner concludes that complainants’ emotional harm related to the denial of service continued throughout the period of media attention and that the facts related solely to emotional harm resulting from media attention do not adequately support an award of damages. No further analysis regarding the media attention as a causative factor is, therefore, necessary.

    But again, the BOLI stated, its "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."

    BOLI's order finds no difference between being a homosexual and being a to-be-wed homosexual wedding-cake customer. That seems obvious, but it's logic lost upon the Kleins. After all, they served the Bowman-Cryer's before the couple became engaged, and discriminated against them only after learning of the couple's engagement. 

    In addition to an order of emotional damages, BOLI ordered the Kleins to "cease and desist" discriminating in their business and to stop promoting their business' policy of discrimination, in accordance with Oregon law.

    It must be noted that BOLI isn't a court of law, it's a state business regulatory agency. However, the agency's regulatory power in the case appears soundly-backed by Oregon law. The BOLI order asserts several court decisions and Oregon law to rebuttress the agency's enforcement authority in accommodation cases.

    If the Kleins did not feel the least bit ignorant for discriminating against a to-be-wed gay couple — surely they do now? After all this — two years of acrimony and anti-gay harassment, and a solid regulatory ruling against them. They do not.

    They signaled intent to appeal in a Facebook post following the ruling, writing that the BOLI order "effectively strips us of all our First Amendment Rights. According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech.”

    Conservative media outlets, like Breitbart and several others, and hate groups, like the Family Research Council, ran with that — posting stories that the Kleins had been subjected to a gag order by the state. That's factually incorrect. The Kleins have not been issued a gag order, nor are they prohibited from speaking about the case, as they and others allege.

    BOLI's order draws a distinction between the promotion of practiced discriminatory business policy, and religious freedoms or free speech (including political speeches); a distinction the Kleins' attorneys should advise their clients on—for the sake of their client's business understanding, if not for the sake of community.

    Following the BOLI order, the Bowman-Cryer's attorney offered a statement from the family: 

    "This has been a terrible ordeal for our entire family. We never imagined finding ourselves caught up in a fight for social justice," they said. "We endured daily, hateful attacks on social media, received death threats and feared for our family's safety, yet our goal remained steadfast. We were determined to ensure that this kind of blatant discrimination never happened to another couple, another family, another Oregonian." 

     

     

    Editor's note: All the details in this report come from the State of Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) final finding of fact, unless otherwise linked. For more, see also OregonLive and Snopes.

    Editor's note II: 07.11.15 –
    In order to be as comprehensive and accurate as possible, this article has been updated to include analysis published after our original publication date from Washington Post's Eugene Volokh, as noted above.



    CORRECTION [July 7, 2015]: Thanks to Paul F. Thompson, civil rights attorney for the Bowman-Cryer family, for pointing out that in writing the story I'd somehow swapped Bowman and Cryer's names. I regret that error and the story has been corrected. — BC

     

    RELATED:

    Same-Sex Couple In Sweet Cakes By Melissa Case Received Death Threats

    GoFundMe Cancels Sweet Cakes By Melissa Fundraising Campaign, Bakers Blame 'Satan'

    Final Verdict In Oregon Bakers Case Comes To $135,000 – Right Wing Furious Over 'Gay Fascism Tax'

     

    Image: Screenshot via YouTube

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    • commented 2016-05-18 11:21:42 -0400
      Hi Arthur, interesting notes. I wanted to let you know that I’m pretty sure Tom was being sarcastic.

    • commented 2016-05-14 12:52:54 -0400
      @jackjpeiphoff I stand by everything I said 100 percent

    • commented 2016-05-14 07:04:39 -0400
      Tom Conservative, you expose your ignorance of theology and history. All religions until 300 BCE had homosexual priests and priestesses: qadesh (dog priests, referring to position not action). They were the Sybilles of Greece. They were highly praised. Only when religion entrenched a priesthood in a single family (for the Jews it was the House of Levi) were there declamations against a very nature, normal, and healthy act because that stopped the Jews who did not work and brought about such novel and obscene actions such as compulsory taxes called tithes.

      Neither Judaism nor Christianity, or their joint creation of Islam were ever free of homosexuality, and in countless worship centers it was practiced along with heterosexual orgies—especially by priests, leading to Peter Damian in the eleventh century to write his infamous tract “Gomorrah”. Even the pope refused the read it, and publicly priests, monks, parishioners wiped their asses with its leaves.

      Homosexuality in natural: it is found in every species on this planet. Homosexuality is normal: It occurs every day. Homosexuality is good for this planet: it cuts down the surplus population that is destroying this planet. The greatest curse on this planet is hate-filled religion and the people who turn to its fake gods to justify their own hatred borne out of ignorance and fear of being exposed as the illiterates that they are. All holy books are fiction, plagiarized form older texts, written by stupid people who want to control others. Throw away your bible and discover reality.

    • commented 2016-05-14 05:43:36 -0400
      Homosexuality is an abomination that is baked into every gay wedding cake. The tasty result? You can never produce a loving child together. That is something you can’t force from the Almighty Baker. Bon appetite.

    • commented 2016-05-13 15:28:36 -0400
      @shane….we’re mostly in agreement. I think you’re right that, as culture grows and progresses, societal forces tend to work this stuff out.

      Still, serving some people but not others because of who those people are and not because of how they’re behaving in the store, is a violation of human dignity and rights, and it simply shouldn’t be tolerated in a civil society.

    • commented 2016-05-13 11:50:02 -0400
      Peter,@god‘s comments were so all over the place I got lost. I agree that you are here to create discussion and not reply to every comment out there. He makes no sense. I can more clearly see your viewpoint and appreciate it. Quality of life is important, and although I disagree that this situation hinders quality of life, I respect your approach. IMO, there are always people out there who disagree and will go to the extent of even refusing service. This does not “hinder” quality of life. It is up to us to make that choice. If we can go somewhere else, then I see no issue. If someone doesn’t want to serve me because I’m part Asian, then I don’t want to give them business either. We are bigger than them and there is no need to cry out. It is them that are flawed, not the discriminated. Nature will balance things out and that business will suffer because people like you will spread the word. If they are wrong, they will learn. These are just my personal viewpoints of course.

    • commented 2016-05-13 03:59:01 -0400
      Dear @god….

      *"why have you made it your mission in life to respond to every single person on here who doesn’t agree with you?"

      …. Why do you think it’s my mission in life? Because I devote four minutes once every two weeks? You have a slightly bent perspective on what a life mission is.

      As to why I respond to certain posts in this thread, that’s easy: because I believe they’re wrong, and because I think it’s important that they understand the opposing viewpoint.

      *"you’re not going to change our minds."

      … Luckily, the probability of your mind changing is entirely irrelevant to whether your moral assessment on the issue is right or wrong, nor does it bolster your arguments. It’s just a red herring.

      *"every day there are people who are pressured, etc……. ….this is discrimination, peter."

      I agree with you. And this issue shares equal importance with the ones you listed. You don’t think there are people who are dismissively saying “It’s a bathroom! Let them pee at home,” ? If not, I got some seaside property to sell you.

      *" the original discrimination laws were written in the spirit of these victims of assaults on quality-of-life."

      The State of Oregon disagreed with you. Change the laws if you don’t like them. But, as Shane and I are discussing, laws are irrelevant to whether this is morally acceptable or not. I will argue that not being able to freely walk through the public sphere and engage in commerce without fear of discrimination, and with the knowledge that you may not be treated as equal to others, is an assault on quality of life. If others enjoy such a quality of life, why not homosexuals? I’ll await your answer on that one.

      *"it doesn’t matter how well you state your opinions about the cake. at the end of the day, it’s still a cake."

      So you are one of the people who are conflating the issue with the product, missing the forest for the trees, and generally lost on the entire issue. It’s not my fault that you’re unempathetic to discrimination.

      *"nobody is going to get any less out of life over a cake. "

      People get less out of life by being treated as unequal to others.

      *"the cake-guy is a bigot who can’t read the writing on the wall,"

      Correct.

      *"the lesbian who couldn’t buy it is a tattle-tale who decided to ruin somebody over a crappy opinion they held,"

      You just illuminated your bias and your bigotry. The Kleins ruined themselves pretty fair and square, and really they were not ruined; their fees assessed by the Labor Board were more than paid by donations with money leftover. They actually made out on the deal. As far as their public image, this is their responsibility alone.

      See, the difference between you and me is that I understand that Cryer is no different than any customer in that store that day, and you feel that she is different.

      *"you’re clogging up this board with your lollygagging."

      Free country, right? Don’t read if you don’t like it. Or comment as you have, and face the music. We can have a discussion about these issues.

      *"and not shedding any light on the legitimate issues faced by homosexuals."

      Can’t a transsexual just go to another bathroom where no one will trouble them with which bathroom they choose? They have that freedom… my god, the town is FULL of bathrooms, including their own at their home/apartment. Why don’t they just do that? Why do they need to make all this fuss for equal treatment? The f**kers.

    • commented 2016-05-13 02:37:12 -0400
      @shane….. Again, my last comment where I proposed a silly law was a joke, and in fact pointed out that using the law to bolster arguments of morality is a fool’s errand. So I’m in agreement with you. I repeat: I would never use the law to bolster or even to back up my approach to issues of civil rights, though I will argue from the standpoint of legal history IF someone fallaciously appeals to law to bolster their opinion.

    • commented 2016-05-12 18:59:37 -0400
      @equi TUBE The only point you made that’s accurate is the fact that is article is horribly written. It reads like a student essay you’re meant to edit while learning about rhetoric and argumentative fallacies.

    • commented 2016-05-12 16:20:44 -0400
      @peter zachos, why have you made it your mission in life to respond to every single person on here who doesn’t agree with you? you’re not going to change our minds. its a cake! every day there are people who are pressured not to live in the neighborhoods they want to because of their race, there are people who can’t pursue opportunities to work because of their religion, people who have difficulty procuring basic goods and services.. most recently we have people who can’t even take a leak at a public restroom without state-sanctioned bullying. this is discrimination, peter. the original discrimination laws were written in the spirit of these victims of assaults on quality-of-life. it doesn’t matter how well you state your opinions about the cake. at the end of the day, it’s still a cake. nobody is going to get any less out of life over a cake. the cake-guy is a bigot who can’t read the writing on the wall, the lesbian who couldn’t buy it is a tattle-tale who decided to ruin somebody over a crappy opinion they held, and you are a hog. you’re clogging up this board with your lollygagging and not shedding any light on the legitimate issues faced by homosexuals.

    • commented 2016-05-12 14:46:11 -0400
      If people, and they are, are legislating against a class, then “morally” that is clearly wrong IMO. I also don’t think you are bolstering, just that you use that as your backup to much of your approach, but I am trying to remove the law and look at the situation itself. I know the law doesn’t agree with most of my viewpoint, and that’s my approach.

    • commented 2016-05-12 13:59:26 -0400
      @shane…..I agree with your points; understand that my last comment was a satirical joke that was illuminating the dissonance in opponents’ positions, and since THEY indeed are working to legislate against homosexuals, I felt a reference to the law was not out of place, even as satire. I would never use the law to bolster an actual argument for the civil rights of all humans.

    • commented 2016-05-12 13:44:42 -0400
      Sorry Lenny. I use the term “Christians” loosely as a label others use. And unfortunately, because there are many out there who give other Christians a bad name, that has been the default label. As far as the why people are against homosexuality, it is irrelevant, whether fanatic or not. That should never be used in any argument when it comes to human rights. People will believe what they believe, it shouldn’t impede on others.

    • commented 2016-05-12 12:54:50 -0400
      Sorry. There are plenty of Christians who don’t buy into this need to discriminate against their fellow Americans. So quit using the term “Christians” when trying to explain your basis for your actions, especially since your belief is not based on anything Jesus Christ said. Please use something more accurate, like “religious fanatics.”

    • commented 2016-05-12 12:12:34 -0400
      Ok, so I thought of something right after my last comment Peter. I want to make it as clear as I can. Laws are something that we have to “abide” by, but not necessarily agree to. I think you have those two confused. Just like Christians shouldn’t quote the Bible in their arguments, I am asking you not to quote the law. So to make it absolutely easy for everyone here.

      Pretend there was no law in regards to this matter. State your argument. Surprisingly enough, that’s what Tom did below, even though I posed a countering situation.

      Now go!

    • commented 2016-05-12 12:02:56 -0400
      Peter, as long as you keep using the law and it’s definition thereof as your argument, it will always be where we have an impass. I don’t agree with the interpretation of the law and it’s exercise as clearly explained below. It is “my view” that it is a rights violation against the Kliens and not against the Cryers. Laws get changed, updated, and new ones are made throughout time. There are contradictions too as there are instances where businesses use the sign “we have the right to refuse business to anyone” when technically that isn’t true.

      You say I am using a strawman argument in regards to rights violation, if that is true, then you are arguing one point(the law) and I am arguing another point(morals) and we are not on the same page apparently. I continuously told you I don’t agree with the law and you continuously quote it as you only support. I told you to set it aside and argue morals, but you fail to do so because you have no solid basis of argument other than what’s written on paper. I think this is our main problem.

      Tom’s statement below also points out to specifics on why Christians don’t agree with homosexuality which is irrelevant. Besides, it is an imperfect comparison as it would be like comparing someone who is abusing government subsidies vs someone who truly is down on their luck.

    • commented 2016-05-12 01:09:06 -0400
      @tom….. Good point. Let’s pass legislation banning marriage between people who are infertile. They can never produce a loving child together. The f**kers.

    • commented 2016-05-12 00:06:33 -0400
      Homosexuality is an abomination that is baked into every gay wedding cake. The tasty result? You can never produce a loving child together. That is something you can’t force from the Almighty Baker. Bon appetite.

    • commented 2016-03-30 19:13:16 -0400
      @shane….

      I agree with you: human rights and freedom issues need to be looked at from both sides of the lens. Circumspection is key, and moral issues commonly involve all sides; every effort should be made to achieve the greatest freedom for the most people.

      There’s a lot you have addressed in your reply, so let’s take things one by one.

      ”The Klien’s are not preventing from the Cryers to buy a wedding cake in whole or being able to act in general. The couple can go to a competitor and buy “the cake”. It is only in this specific instance at this venue that they are being prevented from buying the cake.”

      The right of Cryer that was violated was not the “right to buy a cake.” It’s frustrating that both parties of the issue understand this, the journalists reporting on the case understand this, and the Bureau Of Labor And Statistics of Oregon gives the correct info in its investigation and final “Findings Of Fact” report…. yet you still persist in obfuscating the issue by propping up this straw man argument. Straw man arguments are generally presented when a person’s argument doesn’t stand muster to the available evidence. and it’s telling that you not only are employing it here, but have repeatedly done so even though the information is right there in the Board’s report. I like debating with you, Shane, but if you’re unable to understand this and acknowledge what actual rights were violated, I’m going to chalk it up to your being, at worst, deliberately disingenuous, or at best, not intelligent enough to have a discussion with.

      In your next reply, please state the actual rights violation that was found by the State of Oregon, or else we’re done.

      Ok… moving on…..

      ”To look at it in reverse however, the motion to force the Kliens to make the cake or face penalties is a rights violation. They are being acted upon against their will. “

      Wrong. Their will was freely employed to incorporate as an LLC in the State of Oregon, thereby entering into an agreement that their new entity would dutifully observe the laws and statutes governing business entities in the state. The Kleins had the same opportunity as any other citizen to educate themselves on these statutes. There are two possibilities: 1) they fully educated themselves on the agreement they were about to enter with the State, and understood that their business entity must treat all paying customers equally, or else suffer the penalties of law, or 2) they did not educate themselves, and this incident served as a harsh lesson for them.

      Aaron Klein and Melissa Klein have the same rights for freedom of religious practice that every other citizen does, so long as such practice does not violate the civil rights of another. Sweet Cakes By Melissa does not have any such protected rights, nor does any person acting on behalf of it. It cannot, for example, extend the religious beliefs and practices of its owners to its employees, demanding that they pray at certain times of day, or hold certain beliefs about homosexuality, or require that their employees are heterosexual, etc. And it sure as hell cannot extend the same to its customers. No business in Oregon can. Them’s the rules.

      So… your repeated contention that the Kleins themselves suffered a violation of rights is in error. They suffered no rights violation, and the Board found likewise, because the Kleins could not show any damages or incidents where their own rights of conscience were prohibited. The Kleins were not prohibited from continuing to hold their beliefs about homosexuals. The Kleins were not prohibited from refusing to engage in gay sex, or from refusing to interact with gay people in their private lives, or from refusing to attend gay events. The Kleins failed to show how any of their own rights were violated, and they failed to show how Sweet Cakes By Melissa possesses special, additional rights for discrimination that were violated. So they lost.

      ”It is also specifically quoted from Mrs. Klien that once she knew what the cake was for that she said she “didn’t want any part of it”. This in definition focuses on the wedding and not the individuals.”

      No. Mrs. Klein wasn’t at the store when the incident in question occurred, and if you read the report, you’d know that. Aaron Klein refused service to Cryer because she was homosexual, and he specifically quoted Leviticus 18:22 to Cryer’s mother to hammer the point home. He also stated, in a note posted on the store door, in a broadcast of an appearance on CBN, and in his testimony with the Bureau, that Sweetcakes By Melissa would not serve same-sex weddings; in doing these things, he showed an intent for future discrimination, which was yet another violation. Yet another thing you’d know if you read the report.

      ”Also, if the Cryers had asked for a birthday cake perse, do you honestly think they would have refused?”

      Unnecessary for us to muddy the waters by speculating on things that haven’t happened, but I will respond to your suggestion with a suggestion of my own: as the Kleins made their opinion of homosexuality and gay marriage clear in statements to Cryer, in their note on their store, their statements in a public broadcast, and in their testimony, it’s likely that they would hold similar beliefs about gay parents adopting children. In that context, you think they’d make a birthday cake for an adopted child of a lesbian parent? How about you email Aaron Klein and ask him.

      BTW… nothing in the provided video you supplied gave any pertinent information on their violation of Cryer’s rights.

      ”To elaborate on perfect vs imperfect laws……..”

      I concur with much of what you wrote in this paragraph. Zealous scrutiny and introspect should be given to laws to assess whether they are providing for the greatest freedom for the most people. I’m not leaning heavily on Oregon laws in my argument because I’m deifying “Law” over anything else. I lean on it because I’ve applied reason and rational to this particular situation, and I find the law comports with reason and reality. Since this law is not violating anyone’s rights, but instead protects the rights of all citizens, and since the Kleins failed to demonstrate any constitutional right of theirs that had been violated, the rule of law seems appropriately applied here.

      Let’s also not forget that the laws of Oregon were passed by representatives of the citizens, who are also citizens themselves. People wanted these laws, and got them, and the laws have stood Constitutional muster. It’s a done deal.

      ”So my personal stance is irrelevant, not to mention that both of you are actually incorrect. “

      You’ll have to demonstrate that the majority of the nation are against gay marriage and support the right to discriminate against gays, and that findings of courts all around the nation support the discrimination of gays. Otherwise, no, Kevin and I are not incorrect when we suggest that you have an uphill climb and that that hill is objective.

      ”To close, while on the topic of my personal views, I believe both sides of the agenda deserve to have what they want.”

      Me too! But if “what they want” is illegal, they’ll have to fight for it and change the culture to demonstrate that what they want will not violate anyone’s rights or cause harm. Since what the Kleins want is to specifically discriminate against gays, I put their chances of success at Planck numbers near zero.

      ’I don’t think it’s fair for “Christians” to force their religion down people’s throats as much as homosexuality being thrown down others.”

      I agree… but herein lies, I think, the root of our disagreement. You see the ability for homosexuals to enjoy the same equal rights of all citizens as “throwing homosexuality down people’s throats”, and I don’t. It’s not my business who people choose to engage in consensual sexual contact with, or how, and what lifestyles they choose in their private life. It IS my business when any citizen is denied the rights of other citizens, for any reason, no matter who they are or what their lifestyle is. And since the public accommodation laws of Oregon apply to all businesses equally, regardless of their sexual orientation or religion or similar… the Kleins are protected as well.

      ”Do the Cryers deserve a cake? Yes!”

      Again with the cake thing. No, the Cryers don’t “deserve” a cake. Deserving doesn’t enter into it. The Cryers sought to purchase a cake… thereby entering a wholly mutually beneficial transaction where Sweet Cakes By Melissa would be compensated for goods and services rendered, at a price they had the freedom to set for themselves, and Bowman/Cryer would be given goods and services that they paid for and a receipt of purchase. There’s no “deserving” anywhere in that transaction… and trying to shoehorn one in is just another attempt to create categories so we can divide the “deserves” from the “doesn’t deserves.” The State Of Oregon and its citizens don’t play that way.

      What Bowman, Cryer, the Kleins and every goddamn person in the world “deserve” is equal treatment in commerce and in the public sphere.

      ’Should the Kliens make it if they don’t want to? No!”

      Wrong. Sweet Cakes By Melissa make the cake, and Aaron, acting on behalf of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, can’t refuse to, unless it’s for a reason that doesn’t violate state law and can reasonably be applied to all their customers. The Kleins’ reason couldn’t.

      Don’t forget to reply with what right Sweet Cakes By Melisssa ACTUALLY violated.

    • commented 2016-03-30 11:24:22 -0400
      “Human rights” and “Freedoms” needs to be looked at like a double edged sword. There is the right to act and the right from being acted upon. You can’t focus on one and not the other as it would not be complete freedom. In the Klien’s case, It is commonly being viewed that they are in essence violating the rights of the Cryers, but this is in whole untrue. The Klien’s are not preventing from the Cryers to buy a wedding cake in whole or being able to act in general. The couple can go to a competitor and buy “the cake”. It is only in this specific instance at this venue that they are being prevented from buying the cake. To look at it in reverse however, the motion to force the Kliens to make the cake or face penalties is a rights violation. They are being acted upon against their will. My goal is to have fairness in both aspects everywhere.

      1. It is also specifically quoted from Mrs. Klien that once she knew what the cake was for that she said she “didn’t want any part of it”. This in definition focuses on the wedding and not the individuals. Otherwise she would have said “I don’t server homosexuals”. The link below at the 2 min mark will give you a very specific description of the difference of the level of service and eventual outcome from one cake to another. Also, if the Cryers had asked for a birthday cake perse, do you honestly think they would have refused? If not, then it’s not customer focused but service focused as mentioned repeatedly.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0X_bEXtytc

      2. To elaborate on perfect vs imperfect laws. It is near impossible to have a perfect law as a law cannot dictate to the specifics of each situation, however morals can. Laws are based off of morals. Morals are invented first; like it’s bad to kill people. Thus people then say, “we should have a law for that”. I understand the focus of the law as that is what we have and it is a reflection upon our morals as a society. Unfortunately, sometimes people fall through the cracks due to “gray” situations or exceptions. This is why I don’t always lean on the law completely as there can be loopholes where individuals can take advantage.
      3. This is answered also in bullet point number 1.
      4. I agree that the law doesn’t see it the way I explain it, thus my explanation in bullet point number 2 and my opening statement on the two types of rights violations that he “law” fails to recognize as it is only one sided.
      5. I will use this section to point out that both you and Kevin have no need to point out me as an individual and where my stance is, as in the court of law the judge or opposing side doesn’t use the lawyer’s individual situations as evidence(unless somehow the lawyer takes the stand, which is unusual). So my personal stance is irrelevant, not to mention that both of you are actually incorrect.
      To close, while on the topic of my personal views, I believe both sides of the agenda deserve to have what they want. I understand times are changing and acceptance is the cure to hate and much squabbling. I don’t think it’s fair for “Christians” to force their religion down people’s throats as much as homosexuality being thrown down others. These are personal and intimate things that shouldn’t interfere with commerce, etc. However, the discussed situation is one of those unfortunate events where this may happen. Do the Cryers deserve a cake? Yes! Should the Kliens make it if they don’t want to? No! The Cryers can go somewhere else and exercise that right elsewhere. The Kliens business may or may not suffer from that decision. Believe it or not, I do want to establish, lengthen, and maintain rights for all peoples and groups, whether religious, sexual orientation, age, nationality, etc.

    • commented 2016-03-29 13:29:01 -0400
      @kevin said…..

      “Peter, if I were you I would be careful ……”

      Hahaha… point taken, Kevin. Though regardless of how much I might disagree with someone’s opinions, I could not stand in the way of their right to attempt to hold office. Otherwise I’d be lowering myself to their level, and I won’t do that.

      I can’t speak for Mr. Klein’s sexual orientation or his earring, and honestly these things are unimportant. They’re neither our business nor relevant to the case. It would be good press if there emerged a hypocrisy to report on, but hypocrisy in and of itself is not illegal.

      But having grown up in a similar bible-belt as you, I see where you’re coming from and concur.

    • commented 2016-03-29 13:10:25 -0400
      “Unfounded assertions like the Kliens didn’t know they were gay until they were requested to make “the cake”?”

      Founded.

    • commented 2016-03-29 13:09:57 -0400
      @shane… i think you intended your strike thrus to be bolds? Just use the asterisk key to bracket sentences you want in bold. Like this.

      1. Where’s my evidence? Testimony from both the Kleins AND the Cryers in the final findings report from the Labor Board of Oregon. Is that okay?

      2. No… i claimed what I said. I said “Imperfect laws should be discarded.” The wheels of bureaucracy sometimes make that discarding process slow and difficult, but that’s the price of a democratic republic.

      3. It contained flour, sugar, eggs, etc. Knowing the streamlining/efficiency processes in place for a business to be profitable and keep their margins low, I’m willing to bet the heftier of my two testicles that the cakes the Kleins bake are all very similar to one another, save for specific additions advertised (i.e. fruit/strawbewrries…. fondant… etc.) Bottom line: the Cryers did not ask for a cake that contained any ingredients that Sweet Cakes LLC had not used in cakes previously sold. The issue for Sweet Cakes was the intent. They refused based on intent.

      As for your other questions: read the findings report.

      4. The “type” of cake was exactly the type that Sweet Cakes had sold to Cryer before: for Cryer’s mother’s wedding.

      Sweet Cakes LLC has a duty to understand state law, and state law holds that Cryer’s mother’s wedding and Cryer’s wedding are equal in all respects. Sweet Cakes LLC KNEW this, and also knew that it did not agree, and refused to bake the cake on that disagreement. I could almost be okay with that, if they weren’t whiny when they ultimately lost their case. They at least were trying to make a political statement and challenge the labor board and the public accommodation laws that very likely some of their customers voted for. So you can point left all you’d like…. but there’s no such thing as a gay cake and the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence that there is. Can you?

      5. I’m not saying you have a hill to climb because you’re not using reason, science or logic. Perhaps you are applying those to the best of your ability. I’m saying you have a hill to climb because you’re on the losing side of a nationwide cultural issue and the tide is moving away from your position. This is objectively true regardless of your or my opinions.

      6. Okay, you’re arguing the moral issue rather than the legal one. What’s morally wrong about what has happened? You are the one with the grievance here; it’s not up to me to prove to you that your grievance doesn’t exist.

    • commented 2016-03-29 13:01:47 -0400
      Unfounded assertions like the Kliens didn’t know they were gay until they were requested to make “the cake”?

    • commented 2016-03-29 12:47:15 -0400
      #Equi says….

      “Please, do you believe everything you read.”

      No.

      “This article is so full of half truths, hyperbole and even outright fabrications that it ranks right alongside infomercials and c-grade soap opera plots.”

      Ok. How does this in any way negate the issue that discrimination is wrong?

      " I stand by my earlier statement."

      Your earlier statement where you asserted without any evidence that Bowman & Cryer did this as a publicity stunt? Were you going to present some evidence for this claim or just spout unfounded assertions?

    • commented 2016-03-29 12:47:03 -0400
      Ok Peter, if you want to go there, we can.

      “The Kleins made a cake for them before. Then, when he learned that Cryer was a lesbian and what she wanted the cake for, he refused. The end. "

      Where is your evidence of this?, No end until proven otherwise. “The End”

      “Imperfect laws should be discarded. Get to it. You’ll need public support, and right on your side. "

      So you claim all standing laws are perfect or rather imperfect ones are quickly removed? Do I need to cite examples?

      “Absolutely, 100% dead wrong. The laws of right of refusal are very clear. They would have to apply to every customer equally. A customer comes in and asks for a cake that he or she intends to take to a wedding reception, and the Kleins sell them that cake. Another customer comes in and asks for the same thing, and the Kleins suggest that the wedding reception they intend to take the cake to is different than the previous customer’s. He has no standing, because a) where the cake is going after he sells it is none of his business, and b) it has not been demonstrated to any satisfaction that one wedding reception is substantively different than another. "

      What facts show that the cake was “exactly” the same as another wedding cake? Did it have two brides on top of the cake? Did it have two female names engraved as to identify it was for two lesbians? Also, my point is the it is applied to every customer equally, it’s the service that is discriminated against. The type of cake, not the venue of where it will be eaten. Do I need to spell it out? I’m saying it is made differently and it’s the making and not location based. I’m pointing left and your looking right.

      “Get it straight, once and for all: you have some hills to climb. "

      As far as hills to climb, I’m letting reason, science, and logic do the work. It feels more like you are trying to say there is no hill when it is clearly there

      “Demonstrate the substantive difference in cakes, take that newfound knowledge to the public and petition for advocacy, "

      -Differences described above and in numerous other posts. sigh. . -

      “appeal to your local representatives (or hell, run for office yourself on a discriminatory platform) and make this country how you want it to be! No one is stopping you. "

      As far as running for office, I don’t think I made any inclination that I am using this blog as a platform to make political or any legal change. People are debating the legallity and morality of the issue, and I am chiming in. I don’t have much to argue legally, as you have pointed out clearly and I am aware of Oregon’s stand. I am arguing to the moral standpoint as I have also, multiple times stated. Once again, I’m pointing left and you are looking right.

      You like to play the quote game, so I am meeting you eye to eye. I understand you are arguing legalities but I am not. I am arguing the moral side of things using scientific observation and reason. Now if you can show either my base of reason or observations themselves are flawed, then I will talk. Otherwise by the definition of insanity, I am trying to get through to you and getting no change of result while you are still trying to prove the “hill” isn’t there.

    • commented 2016-03-29 12:41:15 -0400
      Of course the authors bio line says it all
      “Freelance writer. Sci-Fi fan and TV devotee. Cat person, dog lady.”
      Need I say more?

    • commented 2016-03-29 12:35:03 -0400
      Please, do you believe everything you read. This article is so full of half truths, hyperbole and even outright fabrications that it ranks right alongside infomercials and c-grade soap opera plots. I live near Gresham and am well aware of the real story. I stand by my earlier statement.

    • commented 2016-03-29 12:10:41 -0400
      #Shane said……

      “Actually Peter, you can’t prove either way that the Kliens refused after “learning” the couple was gay. They may have infact known they were gay before.”

      The Kleins made a cake for them before. Then, when he learned that Cryer was a lesbian and what she wanted the cake for, he refused. The end.

      “But my argument still stands outside of this particular situation.”

      How?

      “The law is one thing, and can’t always be perfect.”

      Imperfect laws should be discarded. Get to it. You’ll need public support, and right on your side.

      “So to clarify, refusing the customer themselves = Illegal/Immoral. Refusing the service = Legally is unknown, but morally ok(IMO) as given by examples of non gay people ordering a gay cake for someone else, etc.”

      Absolutely, 100% dead wrong. The laws of right of refusal are very clear. They would have to apply to every customer equally. A customer comes in and asks for a cake that he or she intends to take to a wedding reception, and the Kleins sell them that cake. Another customer comes in and asks for the same thing, and the Kleins suggest that the wedding reception they intend to take the cake to is different than the previous customer’s. He has no standing, because a) where the cake is going after he sells it is none of his business, and b) it has not been demonstrated to any satisfaction that one wedding reception is substantively different than another.

      And neither have you, Shane, demonstrated or even sought to demonstrate such a thing. Instead, you just keep making unfounded assertions, and like a child with a comic book, hope against hope that the assertions, spoken with enough conviction, will suddenly be true.

      Get it straight, once and for all: you have some hills to climb. Demonstrate the substantive difference in cakes, take that newfound knowledge to the public and petition for advocacy, appeal to your local representatives (or hell, run for office yourself on a discriminatory platform) and make this country how you want it to be! No one is stopping you.

      Or just whine. The choice is yours.

    • commented 2016-03-29 11:27:15 -0400
      Actually Peter, you can’t prove either way that the Kliens refused after “learning” the couple was gay. They may have infact known they were gay before. So that in fact is a stalemate in this particular situation. But my argument still stands outside of this particular situation. I am also not arguing with the “law” because of impossibility to prove each and every single incident if in fact the service vs the customer was refused. The law is one thing, and can’t always be perfect. So to clarify, refusing the customer themselves = Illegal/Immoral. Refusing the service = Legally is unknown, but morally ok(IMO) as given by examples of non gay people ordering a gay cake for someone else, etc.

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