Almost immediately after a judge recommended that the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa pay a fine of $135k, they’re back in the news in a negative way. Aaron and Melissa Klein turned to GoFundMe to raise money for what they claim would be used to support their family — even though they earlier made claims that they’d need to file bankruptcy over this upcoming court judgment. Apparently, the popular fundraising site didn’t buy their story, because their account has been closed as of yesterday and remains closed today.
Oregon Live reports that at least $60,000 had been raised by the Christian bakers before GoFundMe brought the hammer down on the entire situation. GoFundMe made a statement regarding their decision to close the account.
“After careful review by our team, we have found the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions. The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal.While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live. However, the subjects of the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”
Aaron and Melissa Klein have reacted to the closure of their account by posting on their business’ Facebook page. Of course, they are blaming everyone else for this stroke of bad luck instead of acknowledging that they broke an Oregon state law and are being held accountable for it.
According to Go Local PDX, a woman named Lisa Watson of Cupcake Jones is partially behind the closure of the Sweet Cakes By Melissa GoFundMe campaign. The woman took to social media not long after the Kleins started their fundraising account to let everyone know that it was an illegal fundraiser.
“This business has been found GUILTY OF DISCRIMINATION and is being allowed to fundraise to pay their penalty. The gofundme terms of service address hate speech, bigotry, criminal activity, and sexism among other things in their campaign…The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting.”
The fact of the matter is that the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa have been found guilty of discriminating against a same sex couple in a state that has specific laws protecting them as consumers. They haven’t even been officially ordered to pay the fine yet, and they have already stated that they are going to file bankruptcy, which would release them from obligation to even pay that fine. So why would they also see the need to seek out donations?
[Photo: Screenshot taken from KATU broadcast]