A lesbian couple from Oregon was turned away from a bakery after requesting a wedding cake. Despite getting other cakes and pastries from the Sweet Cakes by Melissa shop before, when it came time to plan for the big day, their business was no longer wanted.
Dozens of protestors stood outside the bakery after word got out, but despite the LGBT supporters shouting chants and holding signs that said things like “can’t we all just eat cake,” it seems business at Sweet Cakes by Melissa has never been better.
The Grisham-based bakery owners, married couple Melissa and Aaron Klein, said they denied the lesbian couple’s business because of their Christian beliefs. They’re determined to continue standing up for what they believe in, which is the idea that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Their website states some of these views, but starts off with a message reading “Welcome to Sweet Cakes! Are you looking for a wedding cake or for ANY occasion? Our cakes are custom made and designed to fit you.” However, as visitors scroll towards the bottom of the page, the site reads, “We here at Sweet Cakes strongly believe that when a man and woman come together to be joined as one, it is truly one of the most special days of their lives, we feel truly honored when we are chosen to do the cake for your special day.”
The website then quotes John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” and references other religious statements.
According to KATU Portland News, the Oregon Equality Act of 2007 expressly prohibits businesses from discriminating against customers on the basis of their sexual orientation.
The Kleins said they will fight for their bakery if a suit is filed against them, and are actually encouraged by the support they’ve received due to their position. “We’re doing better since the story came out,” Aaron Klein told 429Magazine. “We’re just trying to do business. Sticking to our values.”
His wife Melissa said if someone came in again to ask for a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, she would again say, “I’m sorry we don’t participate in same-sex weddings.”
Sweet Cakes by Melissa has been selling out of their baked goods since news broke and the couple says they have been receiving at least 25 supportive letters a day.
The brides to be, Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, were able to find another bakery that is more than happy to bake their cake, called Pastrygirl.
Laura Widener runs Pastrygirl and told KATU that she was surprised the couple was turned away when the shop had made cakes for the couple before.
“Here is what every small business owner wants, is return customers,” Widener said. “Here someone was returning to them because they so enjoyed the first cake made for them, only to be so rudely denied.”
Along with Pastrygirl, the couple accepted the offer made by pastry chef and star of Food Network’s show “Ace of Cakes,” Duff Goldman, to bake them a free wedding cake.
“I saw this story and I was like, “Wait — I can do something, there’s injustice involving a cake!” the Charm City Cakes owner said. “For a cake decorator to really feel like he really needed to take a stand…it just makes absolutely no sense. It’s petty, it’s small…this man has wrapped up his hatred in the cloak of religion.”