In 2013 an Oregon bakery refused to bake a cake for the wedding of a lesbian couple and now they may be facing a hefty monetary fine due to that refusal. As a result of the refusal, state officials recently announced that refusing to make a wedding cake for the same-sex couple based solely on the fact that they are lesbian, qualifies as discrimination. In today’s blog, your Pennsylvania Marriage Equality lawyers provide you with more details about this case.
According to an article by the Huffington Post, “The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled that Aaron and Melissa Klein, [the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa], will have to pay the lesbian couple up to $150,000, USA Today is reporting. The final amount is set to be determined at a March 10 hearing, according to the report.”
The reason the fine may be imposed is because under Oregon law private businesses are barred from discriminating based on sexual orientation and cannot deny service based on race, sex, age, disability or religion. Under state law the only type of institutions that are exempt from this anti-discrimination provision are religious institutions, which the bakery was not.
Oddly enough this is not the first story of a bakery being involved in a situation that involved LGBT rights and marriage equality. In an almost completely opposite story, a bakery in Colorado had a religious discrimination complaint filed against it in January of this year for its refusal to decorate a cake with anti-gay images and phrases. As you can imagine, no rulings have been made regarding the allegations against this bakery and it is not likely that they will face any sanctions for this refusal.
Though it may seem odd, the fact is that the prevalence of bakeries and other marriage-related industries being involved in LGBT-related disputes has increased substantially with the passage of marriage equality in many states. Also involved in various disputes are wedding venues that have refused to allow same-sex couples to hold weddings at their establishments.
For more details about this story, click here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/03/sweet-cakes-by-melissa-violation-_n_6604526.html?ir=Women&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046