Stuff co.nz 5 July 2015
The former owners of a bakery in Oregon, US, have been ordered to pay more than $200,000 to a lesbian couple after refusing to make wedding cake for them.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, must now compensate the couple for emotional and mental suffering resulting from the denial of service.
The Kleins had cited their Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage in refusing to make the wedding cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer.
The dispute, which started in 2013, is one of several around in the US involving bakers, florists and photographers who have refused to provide services to same-sex couples on religious grounds.
Oregon law bars businesses from discriminating or refusing service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn away customers because of race, sex, disability, age or religion.
According to the state Bureau of Labor and Industries’ report, Rachel Bowman-Cryer and her mother attended a bridal show in Portland where the Kleins had a booth advertising their wedding cakes. Bowman-Cryer and her mother went to a cake-tasting at the bakery in 2013.
When Aaron Klein was told there would be two brides, Rachel and Laurel, he responded that he was sorry, but the bakery did not do wedding cakes for same-sex couples because of his and his wife’s religious convictions, according to the report.