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Sweet Cakes by Melissa closes storefront

Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners, say their religious freedom is under attack


by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: LISA K. ANDERSON - Aaron and Melissa Klein taped this sign up in the window of Sweet Cakes by Melissa Saturday.

The Gresham bakery embroiled in controversy after its owners refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple closed its storefront Saturday, Aug. 31.

Sweet Cakes by Melissa owners Aaron and Melissa Klein taped a poster on the business’ window stating the store at 44 N.E. Division St. is closed, but the business will continue as an at-home bakery.

The poster said the business could be reached at sweetcakesweb.com and by its Facebook page, but by Tuesday morning, the Facebook page was no longer up. The bakery will have a new phone number, it said.

Pasted next to the poster was a small sign with a picture of a wedding cake stating “Religious freedom is under attack in Gresham."

“This fight is not over,” the post read. “We will continue to stand strong. Your religious freedom is becoming not free anymore. This is ridiculous that we cannot practice our faith.

“The LORD is good and we will continue to serve HIM with all our heart.”

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: LISA K. ANDERSON - The Kleins believe religious freedom is under attack in Gresham.

Melissa Klein said in mid-August that since the January incident, her wedding cake sales had suffered. Some vendors no longer recommended her, but that was their right, she said.

On Jan. 17, 2013, Rachel N. Cryer, 30, met at Sweet Cakes by Melissa with owner Aaron Klein, asking the bakery to make a cake for her wedding.

Klein and his wife, Melissa said that while they serve people identified as lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender, they do not offer wedding cakes for same-sex couples because that violates their Christian belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Cryer and Laurel Bowman, the brides, filed a complaint Aug. 8 with the state alleging Sweet Cakes by Melissa discriminated against the Portland couple based on their sexual orientation.

The civil rights division of Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is conducting an investigation to determine whether Sweet Cakes by Melissa unlawfully discriminated against the couple.

Under the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are protected in employment, housing and public accommodations.




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