- The Washington Times - Friday, January 10, 2020

An appeals court heard arguments Thursday from an Oregon couple who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, after the Supreme Court tossed out a fine against them.

The Oregon Court of Appeals heard arguments from attorneys representing Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, that a state Bureau of Labor and Industries board violated their constitutionally protected rights of religious freedom when it imposed a $135,000 fine against them for emotional damage suffered by Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, the lesbian couple the Kleins refused to bake a cake for.

Oregon law prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ individuals in jobs and in places that serve the public.

Ms. Klein told reporters assembled outside the courtroom she just wants to reopen her business.

“Our hope is that maybe someday we can once again reopen our bakery and serve everyone without being forced to endorse all messages we are asked to create,” Ms. Klein said.

The Supreme Court rejected a previous Oregon appeals court ruling that had upheld the fine, a followup to the high court’s narrow 2018 ruling that a Colorado commission showed hostility toward a baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple because of his religious convictions.

• Christopher Vondracek can be reached at cvondracek@washingtontimes.com.

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