Judge to Sweet Cakes: Pay $135K to lesbian couple

Bakery refused to make a wedding cake for the couple

A gavel in a courtroom (MGN Online, file)
A gavel in a courtroom (MGN Online, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An administrative law judge proposes that the owners of an Oregon bakery pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple refused service more than two years ago.

The judge, Alan McCullough, ruled in January that Sweet Cakes by Melissa discriminated against Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer by refusing to bake them a wedding cake.

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)

The bakers cited their religious beliefs. The case is one that has been cited in the national debate over religious freedom and discrimination against gays.

Friday’s proposed order dealt with the award for emotional suffering.

The sides will review the proposal and have the chance to file exceptions before Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian issues a final order.

Bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein closed their Gresham store in 2013 and operate the business from home.

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