Sweet Cakes closing shop amid same-sex rift

9-1-13-sweet cakes-Chris Woodard
The sign posted outside of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa storefront in Gresham, Ore., Sept. 1, 2013. (KOIN 6 News)

GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) — A bakery embroiled in controversy after an owner refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is closing up its Gresham storefront.

FILE - Aaron and Melissa Klein, who own Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a Gresham bakery, were the subjects of protest and support after refusing to serve a same-sex couple on Jan. 7, 2013. Undated photo. (Kristopher Anderson/Portland Tribune)
FILE – Aaron and Melissa Klein, who own Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a Gresham bakery, were the subjects of protest and support after refusing to serve a same-sex couple on Jan. 7, 2013. Undated photo. (Kristopher Anderson/Portland Tribune)

According to the “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” Facebook page, “This will be our last weekend at the shop; we are moving our business to an in-home bakery…”

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. ♥”

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