Oregon bakery that refused to make gay wedding cake closes its store
Is this a case of religious freedom? Or unlawful discrimination?
The state of Oregon says if you run a business, you've got to serve gays even it goes against your religious principles. So when a gay couple wanted to order a wedding cake from Sweet Cakes bakery, the owner, a devout Christian, refused.
The couple sued and the Oregon state Bureau of Labor and Industries, after conducting an investigation, ruled that the bakery had to serve the gay couple.
Welcome to America in 2013:
On Aug. 14, Oregon's state Bureau of Labor and Industries reported its investigation to determine if Sweet Cakes' actions violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which states that people cannot be denied service based on sexual orientation. The law provides an exemption for schools and religious groups, but not for private businesses, according to a BOLI news release.
Since 2007, Oregonians have filed 11 complaints of unlawful discrimination in public places under the 2007 equality law. BOLI found no substantial evidence in five of those complaints but parties negotiated settlements in three other cases, including one this past week where a bar was fined $400K for keeping transgenders away.
The Sweet Cakes case is still being reviewed by BOLI investigators as of Aug. 30.
A note on the shop's Gresham door Sunday said the following:
"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. ♥"
Note that the bakery owner is not being charged with refusing to serve gay people, but is accused of refusing to take a contract for a wedding cake - a wedding that they see as illegitimate regardless of what the law says.
If a gay couple came into the store and wanted to buy some donuts or bread, and were refused service, that is what the law was supposed to prevent. But that's not the case here and this unilateral expansion of the definition of the law infringes on the religious freedom of the owner.
Not that Oregonian authorities care much because some freedoms are freer than others.