Oregon Baker Under Investigation for Denying Wedding Cake to Lesbians

Religion Today

An Oregon baker is under investigation by the state for notifying a lesbian woman that he did not make cakes for same-sex ceremonies, the Christian News Network reports. Last month, Aaron Klein, owner of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery he operates with his wife, was approached by a mother and her daughter interested in a cake for the daughter's upcoming wedding to her lesbian partner. After Klein informed the women that the bakery did not make cakes for same-sex marriages, they filed a complaint with the state. "[I] didn't mean to make anybody upset," Klein said. "[It's] just something I believe in very strongly. ... I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God." At this time, the office of the Attorney General of Oregon is investigating the matter, and Klein has two weeks to respond to the complaint filed by the women. In Oregon, nondiscrimination laws prevent public accommodations from being denied to any individual on the basis of "race, color, religion, sex [or] sexual orientation." Klein, who says he regularly serves homosexuals but cannot in good conscience accommodate their request for a wedding cake, stated: "If I have to be penalized for my beliefs ... that'll be what it is." He affirmed that he would rather close than compromise his faith. "My First Amendment rights allow me to practice my religion as I see it," he said.