Sweet Cakes by Melissa has been ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to the couple whose business they turned away when they claimed it would violate their beliefs to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Furthermore, GoFundMe has shut down their fundraiser. However, Franklin Graham has stepped in, saying Samaritan’s Purse will help — and seeking donations.
Yesterday, Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, learned that their GoFundMe account had been shut down. The couple posted on their Facebook page, saying they were under attack by Satan.
“Evidently Go fund me has shut down our Go fund me page and will not let us raise any money. Satan’s really at work but I know our God has a plan and wins in the end!”
Franklin Graham quickly jumped into the fray, saying that the Kleins, rather than the couple they turned away, were the real victims of discrimination, and offering to raise money for them.
“They have done nothing wrong, and their lives, along with their five children, have been turned upside down by this persecution. You can’t call it anything else. This is wrong, and it’s happening right here in our own country. Liberal judges and officials siding with the LGBT crowd are trying to make a point with the undeserved punishment of this family. This is America — we should have the freedom to live by our sincerely held religious beliefs. It’s obvious who is really being discriminated against here.”
Notably, the page being shared as a way to help the Sweet Cakes by Melissa owners is not a fundraiser for the couple. While their photo appears at the top of the Samaritan’s Purse donation page, a closer reading of the text reveals the truth.
“Your gift will help meet the needs of persecuted Christians in the United States as they stand strong for biblical values and deal with fines or other legal burdens imposed by the courts or other branches of government.”
In other words, this is a gift for Samaritan’s Purse to use at their discretion — not a direct support for Sweet Cakes By Melissa.
Meanwhile, numerous followers of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa Facebook page are pointing out a certain irony.
“So you’re mad that [GoFundMe] refused you service? do you not see the irony there?”
The couple says GoFundMe has misunderstood, and that the money isn’t intended to support any illegal act, only to support their family. They’re currently working to get the account reinstated. However, according to the Washington Times, GoFundMe released a statement, saying their terms of service forbade accounts “in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”
GoFundMe said that since there are formal charges in the Sweet Cakes by Melissa case, the account now violates their terms of service — but they’ll allow the couple to keep the money they’ve already raised. The account had raised approximately $109,000, so the couple has indeed been gifted most of their fine.
[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]