A bakery in Gresham, Ore., has shut down after facing escalating attacks from homosexual rights activists, after the Christian couple who owned the bakery declined to create a wedding cake for a lesbian wedding.
"The LGBT protestors then turned on other wedding vendors around the community. They threatened to boycott any florists," Fox News reported, "wedding planners or other vendors that did business with Sweet Cakes By Melissa."
“That tipped the scales,” Aaron Klein told Fox News. “The LGBT activists inundated them with phone calls and threatened them. They would tell our vendors, ‘If you don’t stop doing business with Sweet Cakes by Melissa, we will shut you down.’”
"There's a lot of close-minded people out there that would like to pretend to be very tolerant and just want equal rights," Aaron told KATU News. "But on the other hand, they've been very, very mean-spirited. They've been militant. The best way I can describe it is they've used mafia tactics against the business. Basically, if you do business with Sweet Cakes, we will shut you down."
In addition to the harrassment on the street, the bakery was facing investigations by the state, the Oregonian reported.
"Under Oregon law," the state agency said in a statement, "Oregonians cannot be denied service based on sexual orientation. The law provides an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but does not allow private business owners to discriminate based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot legally deny service based on race, sex, age, veteran status, disability or religion."
Willamatte Weekly had some fun at the bakery's expense before it closed, peppering the proprieters with unconventional cake requests, including cakes to celebrate "divorce, out-of-wedlock children, human stem cell research and a pagan solstice (with a pentacle design requested for the cake). All requests were responded to positively, with price quotes."
The case echoes a case last month involving a New Mexico photographer, fined by the state for refusing to photograph a gay marriage. Both the photographer and the bakery argued that, in addition to religious protection under the first amendment, freedom of speech was at stake, as both cake making and photography are expressive and artistic in nature.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company