Since 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein have been targeted, harassed, and forced to pay massive fines by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries for their refusal to abandon their faith and personal beliefs.
The harassment of the Klein’s started when they declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Instead of being mindful of the Klein’s beliefs and approaching other bakeries for their cake, the same-sex couple filed a frivolous complaint claiming extreme emotional trauma amongst many other sufferings. In response, BOLI fined the Klein’s $135,000 and openly promoted the idea of them being “re-educated.”
In the face of the outrageous fine and blatant Christianphobia by the state of Oregon, the Klein’s were forced to shutter their bakery, “Sweetcakes By Melissa.” According to WND, the Klein’s are still fighting for their beliefs. They have appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals, arguing that their constitutional rights were trampled on and that the BOLI Commissioner, Brad Avakian, had ignored due process and declared them guilty.
Lawyers for the Klein’s from the First Liberty Institute have prepared a compelling brief for their case. They argue Oregon’s actions set a damaging precedent in which the government can force artists to create works that violate their freedoms. “Should the government force Catholics to sculpt totems for Wiccan rituals, or feminists to photograph fraternity initiations, or pro-life videographers to film an abortion? Of course not,” Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty Institute, said. “No one should be forced to contribute to the celebration of an idea that goes against his or her beliefs.”
The fight for religious freedom and freedom of speech continues…