A baker who closed her store after deciding she could not follow the law that mandated same-sexcouples not be discriminated against brook down in front of cameras at a conservative anti-gay conference.
Melissa Klein owns Sweet Cakes by Melissa. The Christian baker lost her case earlier this year, when Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled that she had unlawfully discriminated against a same-sex Portland couple, Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, because they are gay.
Klein last year refused to bake the couple a cake, citing her religious beliefs. Ultimately, she chose to move her business to the web, and her home, and close her Oregon storefront.
"For me personally," Klein told the largely over-50 crowd, "when I would sit down with them I just would want to know everything about her wedding."
"I'd want to know about the flowers, her dress, the centerpieces, her colors, the way her hair is going to be. I would even want to talk about 'where are you going on your honeymoon?'" Klein said, describing her process of deciding what a cake should look like.
"I would just feel so honored to be part of such an amazing, special day," Klein added, as she broke into tears.
Klein and her husband Aaron insist the decision to not serve same-sex couples isn't anti-gay, merely their First Amendment right.
The courts vastly disagreed with them.
Since they were unable to reach a compromise, the Kleins will have to pay about $150,000 in state fines.
In the original complaint, Klein is accused of calling the lesbian couple "abominations," which she denies.
What's important to remember is that every business is licensed by the state. When a business is granted a license it agrees to follow the laws of the state. Klein could have kept her business open but she made the decision to close and move to the web.
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