Furthermore, on 30 August, Sweet Cakes posted to their Facebook page a statement reading “This will be our last weekend at the shop we are moving our business to an in home bakery. I will post our new number soon. Email will stay the same firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The Oregon bakery has been at the center of controversy since it became clear that they had discriminated against a lesbian couple by refusing to bake the couple a wedding cake.
Sweet Cakes is blaming the controversy for the shuttering of the shop. Co-owner Aaron Klein cited his religious beliefs as the reason for refusing service to the lesbian brides-to-be at the beginning of the year.
A sign posted on the shop’s front reads “This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong. Your Religious Freedom is becoming not Free anymore. This is ridiculous that we can not practice our faith. The LORD is good and we will continue to serve Him with all our heart.”
Melissa Klein, the ‘Melissa’ in Sweet Cakes by Melissa, claims that their refusal to serve the couple was “definitely not discrimination at all.” She said this past August that “We don’t have anything against lesbians or homosexuals. It has to do with our morals and beliefs. It’s so frustrating because we went through all of this in January, when it all came out.”
Her husband Aaron has made the same claim saying that “I think [the state labor commissioner] is going to have decide what’s more important: The Oregon State Constitution, or the statute that was passed in 2007. They dropped the ball by not putting in any exemption for religious beliefs.”
They have gotten a bunch of support on Facebook including one comment that reads “I am saddened to hear that you’re closing your shop. It is terrible that you live in the U.S.A. — land where our forefathers fought and died for our freedoms, and you have been criticized and threatened for standing up for what you believe in. You have the right to do that, and I fully support the decisions you have made! Hope things go well for you and your business continues to flourish!”
The problem for the Kleins and their supporters is that the Founders actually objected to the idea of refusing to serve people based upon their religious beliefs. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows for people to use their religious freedoms to discriminate, or forbidding the Government from enforcing rules which require people to serve others in public accommodations even if their religious beliefs are in conflict with doing so.
In fact, so far, every attempt by the Alliance Defending Freedom to push the religious freedom argument has failed spectacularly due to the fact that the Constitution does not guarantee a right to abuse religious freedom to hurt others.
Sweet Cakes by Melissa is going to find that out rather rapidly.