Bakery Owners Accused of Anti-Gay Discrimination Move to New “Religious Freedom” Legal FirmÂ
In 2011 a woman and her mother walked in to Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a local Oregon bakery, to order a cake for the woman’s wedding. Aaron Klein, upon learning that Rachel Cryer was engaged to marryÂ Laurel Bowman â€“ a woman â€“Â told them they don’t bake wedding cakes for same-sex weddings, and the woman and her mother left, distraught. According to court documents, Rachel’s mother returned shortly thereafter, and that’s when Aaron Klein began citing Leviticus as his rationale for refusing them service.
Also according to court documents, Klein, after receiving a notice from the State of Oregon that discrimination charges had been filed, posted the documentÂ â€“ which included the home address and contact information of the Bowman-CryersÂ â€“ to Facebook, leading to countless death threats and other forms of harassment against the women and the two foster children they were attempting to adopt.
None of this will Aaron or Melissa Klein ever admit to in public, nor, likely, will their new attorneys.
The Kleins have received well over half a million dollars from concerned and supportive conservative Christians outraged that the husband and wife, “good Christians,” “lost their business,” or so the Kleins claim, and were themselves subjected to harassment.
The Kleins have also started a new business, of sorts: they are now stars on the religious freedom talk circuit, making the rounds to events sponsored by the likes of theÂ Family Research Council and other anti-gay groups.
â€œThe past three years have been devastating,â€ Melissa Klein says in a press release today from First Liberty, formerly the Liberty Institute. â€œJust because we couldnâ€™t participate in an event that violated our religious beliefs, we lost our business. We were committed to serving everyone regardless of their circumstances at all other times.â€
First Liberty in their press release describes Melissa Klein as the “former owner of Sweet Cakes by Melissa,” and to show just how much compassion the young couple deserve, First Liberty proudly has placed a photo of the Kleins in front of their van, their van that says, “Sweet Cakes by Melissa,” with a web address:Â SweetCakesWeb.com. If you click on it you might be confused, because the Kleins, as you can see, are still very much in business.
Here’s the top of the press release:
Notice it breathlessly claims the Kleins “were forced to shut down their bakery.” It also claims they “lost their bakery for running their business according to their religious beliefs,” and that this is a “high profile case involving religious liberty.”
Which it is not, as the Kleins were orderedÂ to pay the Bowman-Cryers $135,000 in damages, not fines, and not, contrary to what the right wing press and religious groups would like you to believe, because they refused to bake a wedding cake.
For the most detailed and comprehensive analysis of the case, read:Â
Almost Everything You’ve Heard About The Anti-Gay Sweet Cakes Wedding Cake Case Is (Probably) Wrong
The Kleins have apparently dropped their now-former attorney and, like elected officials who want to make big money after doing their stint of public service, have signed on to a top firm. The only difference is instead of a signing with a speakers firm, they’ve signed with a law firm. First Liberty, headed by the infamous Kelly Shackleford, says it is the “largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom.”
But just like a speakers’ firm, the Kleins have their own pageÂ at Fist Liberty, and you can even use it to “Book an interview” with them.
The Kleins also now have a proper big-name attorney, C. Boyden Gray, who served asÂ White House Counsel under President George H. W. Bush. Gray reportedly sits on the boards ofÂ the uber-conservative Federalist Society and the Koch Brothers’ Tea Party groupÂ FreedomWorks.
Although it’s not in the press release, the far right wing website Breitbart claims the Kleins’ new lawyers “add that there is a significant chance that this case may finally end up before the Supreme Court of the United States.”
Images: Screenshots via First Liberty
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Busted: Steve Bannon Admits He Helped Plot Jan. 6 Trump Rally to ‘Kill Biden Presidency in the Crib’
Conservative broadcaster Steve Bannon admitted on Wednesday that he had plotted with President Donald Trump to “kill the Biden presidency in the crib” ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
During his Warroom broadcast, Bannon played clips of journalist Robert Costa and Bob Woodward explaining how events unfolded prior to the Jan. 6 riot.
“You look at January 5th, we discovered that Steve Bannon, the former White House strategist, was there at the Willard Hotel blocks from the White House with Rudy Giuliani, having an almost war-room-type meeting with other Trump allies the eve before the January 6th insurrection,” Costa recently explained to MSNBC. “And Bannon had actually been in close touch with President Trump for days before January 6th. Based on our reporting, he privately told President Trump to have a reckoning on January 6th. And he said to the president, it’s time to kill the Biden presidency in the crib.”
Bannon seemed proud to confirm that the conversation had taken place.
“Yeah, because his legitimacy,” Bannon said of Biden. “42% of the American people think that Biden did not win the presidency legitimately.”
“It killed itself,” he continued. “Just look at what this illegitimate regime is doing. It killed itself. OK? But we told you from the very beginning, just expose it, just expose it, never back down, never give up and this thing will implode.”
Watch the video below from Real America’s Voice.
Far Right Pastor Says There Are More Gays Than Ever Before Thanks to a ‘Demonic Spirit That’s Come After Our Seed’
A right wing mega-church pastor who falsely claims Donald Trump won re-election “by about 80 million votes” says more Christian children than ever before identify as LGBTQ, making clear he believes that is bad.
Pastor Kent Christmas, who shares his ministry with his wife Candy, appeared on stage before thousands of his followers and declared, “never have Christians’ children been more taken over by homosexuality, than they are right now,” as Right Wing Watch reports (video below).
The vast majority of Americans support same-sex marriage and equal rights and responsibilities for LGBTQ people.
Christmas blamed a “demonic spirit that comes after our seed” for the increase in people who identify as LGBTQ.
“If I asked each and every one of you to stand that has a son, daughter, or a niece or a nephew, or a brother or sister, that is gay, half of you would stand up in this building, because it is a demonic spirit that’s come after our seed and the church that God has raised it up in this hour is going to have authority over that.”
In 2018 Christmas acknowledged his son is gay, and said, “I know that he wasn’t born that way.”
He claims his son is no longer gay, and is now married with a wife and children.
“I watched the Holy Ghost deliver him and set him free,” Christmas said.
Last year a study published by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that “non-transgender LGB people who experienced conversion therapy were almost twice as likely to think about suicide and to attempt suicide compared to their peers who hadn’t experienced conversion therapy.”
It goes on to reveal that more than eight out of ten Americans who were subjected to dangerous conversion therapy “received it from a religious leader.”
Right-wing pastor Kent Christmas says that Christian children are being “taken over by homosexuality”: “It is a demonic spirit that has come after our seed.” pic.twitter.com/dKWlSZNTne
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 22, 2021
New Florida Surgeon General’s First Act: Allowing Students Exposed to COVID to Attend School With No Restrictions
He hasn’t even been confirmed yet by the Florida state Senate but Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Governor Ron DeSantis‘s new Surgeon General, on Wednesday signed an executive order that changes state policy on school attendance for students who have been exposed to COVID-19.
The order, which replaces an August 6 order by Dr. Ladapo’s predecessor, declares that students who have been exposed to COVID-19 can continue attending school in-person, as long as they are asymptomatic. It also repeatedly states that parents have sole discretion on how children are educated – in person or virtually – and on masks, effectively eliminating any locally-ordered mask mandates.
“The school boards in Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Alachua and Leon counties [had] challenged the Aug. 6 rule, which did not include the new provision about parents or legal guardians having ‘sole discretion’ about opting out of school mask requirements,” the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reports.
Those lawsuits are now effectively null and void because of the new order.
Dr. Ladapo, who opposes mask and vaccine mandates, has likened the focus on getting Americans vaccinated to a religious obsession, and supports treatment of COVID-19 with drugs that are neither approved for use against the coronavirus nor have been proven to be effective – namely the livestock-dewormer Ivermectin and the malaria-drug hydroxychloroquine. He also appeared in the infamous viral video with a discredited doctor mocked as the “Demon Sperm” physician.
Here’s the new emergency rule by Fla. Surgeon General Joe Ladapo…signed this morning. pic.twitter.com/8axcD3ywHb
— Jim Rosica (@JimRosicaFL) September 22, 2021
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