Court Upholds $135,000 For Bakers Who Discriminated Against Gay Couple

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The Klein's refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, resulting in a $135,000 fine for discrimination.

Owners of the now-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery just outside of Portland, Oregon will be responsible for the $135,000 fine imposed after they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2013.

In a decision on Thursday, the Court of Appeals upheld the fine, which Melissa and Aaron Klein paid but sat in government escrow awaiting the court's conclusion.

The state ruled Sweet Cakes had discriminated against the lesbian couple, and in July 2015, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian ordered the Kleins pay $135,000 for emotional damages suffered.
The Oregon Equality Act of 2007 says businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation - just as they cannot turn away customers because of their race, sex, disability, age, or religion.

Following backlash from the case, the Klein's closed their bakery and turned to selling online, but eventually the online business was dropped as well.

"We lost everything we loved and worked so hard to build," said Melissa Klein. "I loved my shop. It meant everything to me and losing it has been so hard for me and my family."