Friday, July 17, 2015

The case of the Oregon bakery owners

Congressman Randy Forbes



Recently, a final decision was released in the case involving Melissa and Aaron Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, Oregon, who declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, stating that participating in the wedding by baking the cake would have violated their personal religious beliefs. In response, the couple filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries for refusal of services.

On July 2, 2015, the Oregon Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries released the Final Order on the case, ordering the bakery owners to pay a fine of $135,000 in damages to the couple for "emotional suffering." According to the order, the bakery owners were fined due to the fact that they 1) declined to participate in the same-sex commitment ceremony by providing a wedding cake and 2) allegedly stated their intent to refuse similar requests in the future. In addition to the fine, the decision also banned the bakery from publishing, "any communication … to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused … any person on account of sexual orientation."

Supporters of this decision in the bakery owners' case contend that the bakery owners should be required to participate in the same-sex couple's ceremony, regardless of their religious convictions. Opponents of the decision, on the other hand, argue that the government should not force people to participate in events that violate their beliefs.

Question of the Week: Do you agree with the decision to fine the Oregon bakery owners?

(  ) Yes.
(  ) No.
(  ) I don't know.
(  ) Other.

Take the Poll here

Find the results of last week's InstaPoll here.


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