Defiant Oregon bakers fined $135,000 for their 2013 refusal to make a cake for a lesbian wedding
reportedly vow to "fight back" against the state labor commissioner's stiff penalty – and are calling on "Christians … to take a stand."
"For years, we’ve heard same-sex marriage will not affect anybody," Aaron Klein, co-owner of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, told The Blaze.
"I’m here firsthand to tell everyone in America that it has already impacted people. Christians, get ready to take a stand. Get ready for civil disobedience."
Oregon's Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian on Thursday issued a final ruling in the contentious discrimination case, ordering Klein and his wife and co-owner Melissa Klein to cut a check for the money to Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer for refusing to bake them a cake for their same-sex nuptials.
"This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage," Avakian wrote, according to The Oregonian.
"It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal."
Oregon’s Equality Act of 2007 prohibits businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation and other characteristics.
Aaron Klein told The Blaze he's got no intention of taking the order lying down.
"[Avakian] wants to silence anyone who opposes his point of view," Klein told The Blaze.
"Unfortunately, he’s doing this with the wrong Christian, because I fight back."
Klein told The Blaze he and his wife will seek a stay in court to delay the order, which he said requires them to immediately pay the couple refused a cake by the bakery. He also said the couple would likely file an appeal.
"It has the potential to financially ruin our family … [Avakian] knew that full well going into this," Klein said of the hefty fine. "He did not seek business assets, he sought personal property."
The fine comes in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to sanction same-sex marriages nationwide, and Aaron Klein charged, "This situation right here flies in the face of the Constitution at every level."
Avakian's order also prohibits the Kleins from advertising that they'll refuse to make cakes for same-sex weddings in the future, The Oregonian notes. That gag order, Klein tells The Blaze, is in violation of his First Amendment rights.
"This guy has been biased from the get-go, from the original statement that he said that he needed to rehabilitate us, then he turned around and refused to get out of the game even though he was in collusion with Basic Rights Oregon," Klein told The Blaze, referring to a gay rights organization.
"He then did a final order where he stripped me of my First Amendment rights, which would be my religious and free speech rights."
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