The bakery gained attention last year, 2014, when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Melissa and Aaron Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes Bakery, stated that they refused the produce the wedding cake as it would violate their religious beliefs to provide a cake for a gay wedding as they felt that same sex marriage was ‘wrong’ and they ‘didn’t want to be a part of it’.
The couple were found guilty of discrimination in 2014 under Oregon state laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. They were ordered to pay $135,000 compensation and damages to the women they discriminated against.
Since being found guilty and having been ordered to pay the fine the Kleins have refused on several occasions, stating that they were unable to afford the fine, claiming ‘financial hardships’. This was despite the anti-gay American Family Association rallying support and raising $400,000 to help the Kleins.
The attorney for the Kleins said that the decision was being appealed, saying that the Kleins ‘continue to stand on their well-established constitutional rights to live and work based on their values and beliefs.’
This week, however, the Kleins sent out a cheque to cover the costs of their fine, a small amount for them now that their supporters have given them close to half a million dollars. The Bureau of Labour and Industries have confirmed that the Kleins have fully paid their fine.