Gay marriage is legal in America now, but that doesn’t mean there’s been an end to sexuality discrimination.
In 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein, of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery, turned away a lesbian couple when asked to make them a cake for their wedding. This month, the courts ordered the couple to pay $135,000 “for emotional and mental suffering resulting from the denial of service,” according to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.
The couple that was turned away, Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, got married anyway, and the backlash over the Kleins’ decision caused them to close down their bakery.
With a large fine hanging over their heads and little work to pay it, the Kleins decided to build a crowdfunding campaign to try and dig their way out of their financial hole. They were certain that there were plenty of other people out there who shared their views on the rights of homosexuals versus the freedom of religion.
Aaron and Melissa Klein made $109,000 on GoFundMe before the site removed their campaign.
Officials of the crowdfunding site stated that the reason the campaign was removed was because the Kleins were “found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts.”
GoFundMe updated their rules on “What’s Not Allowed” around the time they removed the Kleins’ campaign. The terms now include the fact that they will not allow any crowdfunding campaign “in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts.”
Aaron and Melissa Klein posted a response to the action on their bakery’s Facebook page.
“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!”
When the Kleins lost their ability to crowdfund their legal fees through one source, they went to another one.
On Continue to Give, the Kleins have now raised over $350,000, just about $50,000 off of being three times what they have been fined with.
“Not only is our platform the perfect place for the Kleins to raise money, but we also appreciate the stand they are making for religious freedom,” Jesse Wellhoefer told NBC News.
Wellhoefer went on to tell Politico, “Lots of people have been asking us to take it off. Our response has been, ‘Thank you for your concern, have a great day and God bless you.’”
[Image courtesy of Facebook]