Sweet Cakes pays $135K fine in gay wedding cake case

The case began when the bakers refused to make a same-sex wedding cake

Melissa and Aaron Klein of Sweet Cakes as seen on Samaritan's Purse website, April 25, 2015
Melissa and Aaron Klein of Sweet Cakes as seen on Samaritan's Purse website, April 25, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The owners of a Portland-area bakery that denied service to a same-sex couple has paid more than $135,000 to cover a legally-binding order from the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

Charlie Burr, the communications director for BOLI, told KOIN 6 News the agency received a payment of $136,927.07 from Aaron Klein on Monday. That payment followed a collection effort earlier this month that netted about $7000 earlier in December, Burr said.

Klein and his wife, Melissa, own Sweet Cakes by Melissa. They refused to bake a wedding cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer, which BOLI ruled was  unlawful discrimination.

In July, BOLI said a state exemption for religious organizations and schools does not allow private business owners to deny service to potential customers because of sexual orientation.

The Kleins closed their Gresham store in 2013 and operate the business from home.

The case is still being appealed, and Burr told KOIN 6 News BOLI would hold onto all the money until all the appeals are settled.

In April, the Kleins were the beneficiaries of a crowdfunding account on the Samaritan’s Purse website, an evangelical Christian organization run by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham.

It’s unclear how much has been donated on that site. More than $70,000 had been raised on a separate GoFundMe site by the time it was taken down.

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