Over the past year or so, there has been an amplifying situation between the LGBTQ community and Christian businesses. It hit a boiling point when Indiana passed the Religious Freedom Law, as reported by the Inquisitr, which led to a debacle with Memories Pizza.
Now, the latest news about the LGBTQ community versus Christian businesses is returning back to the business that initiated the situation: Sweet Cakes By Melissa. Reports now show that a lesbian couple, who were refused a wedding cake by bakery Sweet Cakes, claim “mental rape.” Not only that, Sweet Cakes will also have to pay the lesbian couple a total of $135,000 after court hearings.
According to Oregonian, Rachel Bowman-Cryer and her wife, Laurel Bowman-Cryer, will receive a total of $135,000 in damages for their emotional suffering, as stated by a hearings officer. Specifically, Rachel will get $75,000, while Laurel will get $60,000 from the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa. Originally, prosecutors from the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) sought $75,000 for each women — a total of $150,000 — during a hearing on damages back in March.
It should be noted the amounts recommended by law judge Alan McCullough on Friday, April 24, are not final. State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian has finalization authority to raise, lower, or leave the proposed damages as they are.
The legal battle between the lesbian couple and Sweet Cakes By Melissa began in January, 2013, when Aaron Klein turned away Rachel Bowman-Cryer and her mother at a cake-tasting appointing they had set up with Melissa Klein. Seven months later in August, Rachel and Laurel complained to BOLI. After investigating the case, they brought charges against Sweet Cakes By Melissa for unlawful discrimination for sexual orientation.
“The facts of this case clearly demonstrate that the Kleins unlawfully discriminated against the Complainants. Under Oregon law, businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion. Our agency is committed to fair and thorough enforcement of Oregon civil rights laws, including the Equality Act of 2007.”
Both Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer testified to emotional stress, but what is unique is the fact they called it “mental rape,” as reported by the Gateway Pundit. Apparently, many people, especially survivors of rape, find both Rachel and Laurel’s testimony to be appalling and disgusting.
@DLoesch As an actual rape victim, this is more than appalling. I wouldn’t with the real thing on anyone!
— Rachel Lucas (@OrRachelLucas) April 24, 2015
Also, there are conspiracies arising from the fact the GoFundMe page supporting Sweet Cakes By Melissa was suddenly taken down. Many of their supporters asked the crowdfunding website why it was taken down — they say they were given a generalized answer that Sweet Cakes By Melissa violated their terms of service, but did not specify how.
Since the order is still in proposal, both Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer had no comment as the matter continues to be active litigation. As for Sweet Cakes By Melissa, one of their lawyers, Anna Harmon, expressed sentiments that the $135,000 of real money both Aaron and Melissa Klein are going to have to pay, money that would have paid their mortgage or fed their kids.
[Image via Sweet Cakes By Melissa]