Aaron and Melissa Klein shuttered their Portland bakery two years ago, after being accused of violating Oregon’s nondiscrimination law by refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
But they have no plans to stop talking about their case, despite a recent “cease and desist” order from the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).
The Kleins and their attorney believe the BOLI ruling is essentially a gag order. Aaron Klein plans to ignore it.
“I am not going to keep quiet,” Aaron Klein told CT this week. “She (Melissa) is not going to keep quiet.”
The cease and desist order is the latest twist in the conflict between the Kleins, former owners of “Sweet Cakes by Melissa,” and Laurel Bowman and Rachel Cryer, the couple who ordered the cake. It’s part of a larger BOLI ruling, which includes $135,000 in damages that the Kleins now owe to Bowman and Cryer. That payment is due Monday, July 13.
The complicated ruling has caused controversy and confusion. Here are 10 questions to help sort the case out.
How did we get here?
On January 17, 2013, Cryer and her mom visited “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” for a cake testing. Her partner, Bowman, was at home caring for the couple’s adopted infant children, both of whom have special needs.
When Aaron Klein asked who the groom would be, while filling out paperwork, Cryer said there was no groom—she and Bowman were getting married.
Klein apologized, and said the bakery didn’t do same-sex wedding cakes.
According to BOLI records, when Cryer’s mom pressed him for an explanation, he quoted from Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with ...1