Sweet Cakes owners told to pay fine or face lien on home
PORTLAND, Ore. - The former owners of a Gresham bakery found guilty of discriminating against a lesbian couple have now been told to pay their big fine by Friday.
Melissa and Aaron Klein have been ordered to pay the couple $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for their wedding.
The decision from Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian also slaps a cease-and-desist order on the Kleins, banning them from advertising their beliefs. The couple contends the ruling is too broad and violates their First Amendment rights.
"In a sense he is telling me, Aaron Klein, a private citizen, that he can tell me to never speak of this again or I'll be guilty of breaking his cease-and-desist order. That breaks the First Amendment," Aaron Klein said.
"We're not going to be silent either," said Melissa Klein. "We're not going to stop talking about our faith, and we're not, I mean, that's a part of our life."
The Kleins say they plan to appeal the judgement against them. But in the meantime, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries isn't backing down either, threatening to put a lien on their house if the couple doesn't contact them about payment.
The bureau also issued a statement that reads in part, "There is no gag order preventing the Kleins from voicing their disagreement with the ruling or their opposition to anti-discrimination laws. The Sweet Cakes decision directs them to pay damages and refrain from discriminating against future customers."