The Oregon couple who made headlines in 2013 for refusing to bake a same-sex wedding cake is now refusing to pay a $135,000 order from the Bureau of Labor and Industries for damages to the lesbian couple they turned away, The Oregonian
Aaron and Melissa Klein, the proprietors of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa
bakery, filed an appeal of the state ruling in July. And, claiming financial hardship, the Kleins have defied the $135,000 order, despite crowdfunding efforts that, as of Wednesday, had raised at least $515,000.
Many supporters of the Kleins have backed their decision not to provide a wedding-related service that goes against their religious principles, and in an effort to help with expenses, they set up three online funding accounts.
"It's difficult to understand the Kleins' unwillingness to pay the debt when they have, very publicly, raised nearly a half million dollars," Labor Bureau Spokesman Charlie Burr said in an email Wednesday, Oregonian reports.
"They are entitled to a full and fair review of the case, but do not have the right to disregard a legally binding order."
Anna Harmon, one of the three lawyers representing the Kleins, stated, "These questions delve into matters of (attorney-client) privilege that we aren't at liberty to discuss publicly. There's still ongoing litigation and we can't talk about strategy. "
Despite the ongoing legal fight, the Oregonian notes the Kleins stood alongside Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The couple was one of several attendees honored by the Family Research Council for standing up for their religious beliefs in the national battle over same-sex marriage, the Oregonian reports.
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