Gresham, OR – Sweet Cakes, a bakery in the township of Gresham, Oregon, is under investigation by civil enforcement officers for allegedly refusing to make a cake for a lesbian couple. Sweet Cakes advertises cakes for any occasion. However, it seems when a same sex couple requested a wedding cake be made in honor of their pending nuptials, the owner refused to render service.
One of the women has since filed a claim with the city, citing the business refused to offer her services based on sexual orientation discrimination. Baker Aaron Klein says he is being penalized for his personal religious beliefs, and asserts he is standing behind his own moral code and his First Amendment right when denying services.
Klein would rather the business be closed than be forced to do something against his conscience. This is the first time the business has received a notice from the state regarding refusal of services, which Klein says he's done several times before.
The written notice from the city noted the complaining party quoting Klein as saying the couple was an "abomination unto the Lord." Klein denies uttering the statement. He asserts he was not intending to cause hurt feeling or offend anyone, only that he was standing on principle.
Oregon Statute 659A.403, place of public accommodation, outlines that it is unlawful for Klein to refuse services under these circumstances. By law the public business must provide full and equal accommodations to all patrons, without hindrance based on race, religion, color, sex, or sexual orientation.
Do you think business owners have the right to refuse services? Do you think the business owner has the right to his principles the same way the couple has the right to not be discriminated?
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