Oregon to Probe Baker's Refusal to Make Same-Sex Wedding Cake

Wednesday, 14 Aug 2013 10:46 PM

 

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A same-sex couple in Oregon who tried to buy a cake for their wedding has filed a discrimination complaint against the bakery that turned them down on religious grounds.

The Oregonian reported  Wednesday that the state Bureau of Labor and Industries will investigate whether Sweet Cakes by Melissa violated a state law that protects the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations.

In her complaint, Rachel N. Cryer, 30, said she went to the Gresham bakery on Jan. 17 for an appointment to order the cake. She met with owner Aaron Klein, who asked for the date and names of the bride and groom.

"I told him, 'There are two brides and our names are Rachel and Laurel,'" the complaint says.

Klein responded that he and his wife didn't serve same-sex weddings and "cited a religious belief for its refusal to make cakes for same-sex couples planning to marry," the complaint says.

Melissa Klein said the complaint was delivered to the bakery on Tuesday.

"It's definitely not discrimination at all. We don't have anything against lesbians or homosexuals," she said. "It has to do with our morals and beliefs."

The 2007 state law provides an exemption for religious organizations and parochial schools but does not allow private business owners to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

The complaint will go to an investigator. If substantial evidence of discrimination is found, the inquiry could lead to a settlement or proceedings before an administrative law judge.

The bureau says it's the 10th complaint received in five years of discrimination in a public place based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Of the other nine, four were unsubstantiated, three resulted in negotiated settlements, one was privately settled, and one is pending.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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