Aaron and Melissa Klein were targeted by the State of Oregon earlier this year for their religious convictions and for declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding. When the lesbian couple sent a two page list of “emotional distresses” to the state for being declined by the bakery, Oregon led the witch hunt to punish the Christian couple.
Oregon Bureau of Labor Commissioner, Brad Avakian took it upon himself to lead the charge against the couple. He levied a fine of $135,000 against the bakers. Avakian said his goal was not to close down the business but to “re-educate” the couple.
The unconstitutional targeting of the Klein’s faith wasn’t enough for Avakian. He emptied the Klein’s bank accounts a few weeks before they were to spend Christmas with their children. According to Fox News, the state seized around $7,000, including money they had set aside in a separate account for their church tithes.
The state also levied a 9 percent interest penalty on top of their enormous fine. While still examining all options to appeal Avakian’s ruling, the couple decided to pay the fine in full in order to not lose their business. The money to pay the fine came from donations from people who rallied behind the couple in support of their freedom of religion.
The Klein’s are prepared to take their case all the way to the Supreme Court. “Aaron and Melissa will continue to work to ensure that every American has the First Amendment right to express their faith-based beliefs, and to conduct their daily affairs according to their conscience,” Attorney Tyler Smith said in a statement.