A Gresham, Oregon, bakery has closed its doors following months of relentless attacks by homosexual activists angered that the owners had refused to bake a wedding cake for a pair of lesbians.
While Sweet Cakes by Melissa is not closing up shop completely, on August 30 owners Aaron and Melissa Klein posted a note on the bakery's Facebook page informing customers and friends that they would be closing their retail store and doing business from a bakery in their home.
While the couple did not explain why, at the bottom of the move is the Kleins' decision last January to decline the business of a pair of homosexual women who planned to marry and wanted the bakery to produce a cake for them. The Kleins' refusal prompted the women to file a discrimination complaint against the business with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.
After the story made the papers and TV news, the bakery began to be inundated with harassment from homosexual activists enraged that the Kleins would place their faith above the state's anti-discrimination statute. Aaron Klein told Fox News that in addition to boycotting their business, some individuals even took to sending threatening messages against the couple and their three children.
Aaron Klein pointed out that, like the majority of practicing Christians, he and Melissa hold no animosity toward homosexuals. He told Fox News that their refusal boils down to their faith in God. “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “I don’t want to help somebody celebrate a commitment to a lifetime of sin.”
On the bakery's website, the Kleins emphasize their commitment to traditional marriage, explaining that they believe that “when a man and woman come together to be joined as one, it is truly one of the most special days of their lives.” They added that “we feel truly honored when we are chosen to do the cake for your special day.”
While the initial boycott and harassment did little to impact the bakery's overall business, the homosexual lobby then began to target other wedding businesses in the area, threatening to boycott florists, photographers, wedding planners, and other vendors who continued to work with Sweet Cakes by Melissa.
“That tipped the scales,” Aaron Klein told Fox News. “The LGBT activists inundated them with phone calls and threatened them. They would tell our vendors, ‘If you don’t stop doing business with Sweet Cakes by Melissa, we will shut you down.’”
He stated, "It’s a sad day for Christian business owners and it’s a sad day for the First Amendment. The LGBT attacks are the reason we are shutting down the shop. They have killed our business through mob tactics.”
Melissa Klein explained to a local TV news reporter her reason for refusing to do business with the lesbian couple. “The Bible tells us to flee from sin,” she said. “I don’t think making a cake for it helps. I guess in my mind I thought we lived in a lot nicer of a world where everybody tolerated everybody.”
Meanwhile, the Oregon Bureau of Labor is moving ahead with its investigation into the discrimination charge against the Kleins, with the agency's commissioner, Brad Avakian, leaving little question about where he is coming down on the issue. “Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs,” Avakian told the Oregonian newspaper, “but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate.”
Sounding alarmingly like a minion from Mao's infamous Great Leap Forward, Avakian said that “the goal is to rehabilitate” those, like the Kleins, who use their moral and spiritual compass to guide their businesses. “For those who do violate the law,” he continued, “we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.”
Judging by the bakery's Facebook page, the Kleins have received an overwhelming amount of support from those who agree with their moral and Christian stand. “Thank you for not backing down from your Christian beliefs!” posted one Sweet Cakes fan. “God will bless you more & more!!!”
Another encouraged that “your courage and faithfulness is inspiring. Persecution is here, now, for the American church. Let's continue to pray for Christians everywhere. May God richly bless you.”
A third wrote: “Thank you for standing up for your beliefs and not backing down to pressure!!! I wish ALL Christians in this country had your fortitude. I don't think the country would be like it is today if they did!”
The Kleins join a number of business owners across the nation who have been targeted for declining to do business with homosexuals. As reported by The New American, a pair of homosexual men recently leveled a charge of discrimination against an Iowa couple who own a bistro and wedding venue after they refused, because of their Christian faith, to service the gay pair's wedding.
Similarly, a cake bakery in Denver, Colorado, was boycotted by the area's homosexual community after the owner refused to bake a wedding cake for two homosexual men.
Earlier this year Washington State's attorney general filed a discrimination lawsuit against a Christian florist who gently declined the business of a homosexual man who wanted her to provide the floral arrangements for his same-sex marriage.
In March 2012 a Kentucky homosexual group filed a discrimination complaint against a T-shirt company in Lexington after the Christian owner refused to print themed shirts for the group's community “gay pride” event.
And in August the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the Christian owners of a photography studio who had earlier been convicted of discriminating against a pair of lesbian women for refusing to provide the photography for their homosexual partnering ritual. The state high court upheld a lower court ruling against the owners, declaring that “a commercial photography business that offers its services to the public … must serve same-sex couples on the same basis that it serves opposite-sex couples.”
As for Aaron and Melissa Klein, while their store has closed, a sign was posted on its window that reads: “This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong.... The Lord is good and we will continue to serve Him with all our heart.”