Sue Chef: Court Fines Bakers $135,000

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Melissa and Aaron Klein
Melissa and Aaron Klein

If you thought it was expensive to buy a wedding cake, try not baking one!

Aaron and Melissa Klein found out just how expensive today, when — after two long years — an Oregon judge finally told the young parents of five exactly how much living by their beliefs would cost them: $135,000. Their dream of owning a dessert shop near Portland, Oregon turned into a nightmare when two lesbians refused to take “no” for an answer on their request for a same-sex “wedding” cake.

Sued, harassed, vandalized, and threatened to the point that the couple had to close their doors, the Kleins still didn’t budge. Found guilty by an administrative court earlier this year, the Kleins spent four sleepless weeks wondering what the government — the same one that guarantees them the freedom of religion — would charge them. Now that they’ve been ordered to pay up to $135,000 in fines, Aaron and Melissa have made it clear that they are willing to pay a far steeper price to stand up for Christ.

“To be told they’re going to force me to convey a message other than what I want to convey — it flies in the face of the Constitution,” Aaron explained. “It’s a violation of my conscience. It’s a violation of my religious freedom. It’s horrible to see your own government doing this to you.”

Anna Harmon, one of the Kleins’ attorneys, said the sentencing was tough to swallow. “Americans should not have to choose between adhering to their faith or closing their business, but that is what this decision means… The [judge] ruled wrongly that the Kleins’ right not to design and create a work of art celebrating an event which violates the tenets of their religion is not protected by the Oregon or Federal Constitutions. This is a dangerous result for religious liberty and rights of conscience in Oregon…”

Unfortunately, the Kleins are just one of the families hanging in the balance of the Supreme Court’s scales. When the justices go to work next Tuesday, they’ll be deciding a lot more issues than the definition of marriage. For the sake of the First Amendment, let’s hope that our right not to be forced to violate our faith is one of them.