Bigotry against homosexuals won't win you any popularity contests these days, and it certainly won't keep your business operating in the long-term. Sweet Cakes By Melissa bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein have learned that lesson the hard way, and they aren't done paying for their mistakes. The couple may have to file bankruptcy now, two years after they discriminated against a lesbian couple who wanted to purchase a wedding cake. The Daily Signal reports that this is due to the huge amount of money a judge may order them to pay.
A judge in Oregon has recommended that Aaron and Melissa pay upwards of $135k as punishment for violating the state consumer protection law. The administrative judge Alan McCullough wrote that two large amounts would go to compensate the lesbian couple who was discriminated against unlawfully by the Gresham couple.
"The forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000 are appropriate awards to compensate [the couple] for the emotional suffering they experienced."That couple did reportedly suffer emotional damage over the incident. The discriminated couple in general were left in tears over Aaron Klein's treatment when one of them tried to purchase a cake for their wedding. The baker reportedly told one of the women that their relationship was "an abomination to the lord" before refusing to bake a cake for them. The event reportedly left one of the women in tears.
The Huffington Post reported in 2013 that Aaron Klein seemed confident that he was in the right back when this happened. This was before he and his wife were found guilty of unlawfully discriminating against the couple, of course, but he has always maintained that he has the constitutional right to discriminate against homosexuals based on his Christian religion.
"I'd rather have my kids see their dad stand up for what he believes in than to see him bow down because one person complained."Now Aaron Klein and his wife are afraid the fine may hinder their ability to support their kids, and may have to go bankrupt if they're forced to pay the amount the judge recommended. Of course, maybe they're also aware that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may remove their obligation to even pay that amount to the lesbian couple who they discriminated against in the first place.
Over the course of losing Sweet Cakes By Melissa (the physical business), and being labeled "guilty" of discriminating against homosexuality, the Kleins have become poster children for religious-themed bigotry against a large minority of Americans, and humans in general. Nonetheless, Melissa Klein herself has expressed the sentiment that she wished she could go back and bake the cake for the couple that her husband sent away on that day in 2013.
[Photo: Sweet Cakes By Melissa company website]