Bakery owners pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to serve same-sex couple

Melissa and Aaron Klein of Sweet Cakes as seen on Samaritan's Purse website, April 25, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The owners of a Portland-area bakery that denied service to a same-sex couple has paid more than $135,000 to cover a legally-binding order from the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

Charlie Burr, the communications director for BOLI, told KOIN 6 News the agency received a payment of $136,927.07 from Aaron Klein on Monday. That payment followed a collection effort earlier this month that netted about $7000 earlier in December, Burr said.

Klein and his wife, Melissa, own Sweet Cakes by Melissa. They refused to bake a wedding cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer, which BOLI ruled was  unlawful discrimination.

In July, BOLI said a state exemption for religious organizations and schools does not allow private business owners to deny service to potential customers because of sexual orientation.

The Kleins closed their Gresham store in 2013 and operate the business from home.

The case is still being appealed, and Burr told KOIN 6 News BOLI would hold onto all the money until all the appeals are settled.

In April, the Kleins were the beneficiaries of a crowdfunding account on the Samaritan’s Purse website, an evangelical Christian organization run by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham.

It’s unclear how much has been donated on that site. More than $70,000 had been raised on a separate GoFundMe site by the time it was taken down.

WDTN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s