US: Christian ‘gay rights’ activist raising money for bakery that refused lesbian wedding cake

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A Christian gay rights activist is raising money to help a bakery that refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

Melissa and Aaron Klein – who run the Sweet Cakes By Melissa bakery in Portland, Oregon – fought a legal battle after they turned away a same-sex couple last year, claiming that making them a wedding cake would violate their religious beliefs.

While speaking at the conference of the Family Research Council – listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – the Kleins recently claimed they were left with $150,000 (£94,000) of debt from the lawsuit.

Matt Stolhandske, a self-professed gay rights activist of Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, says he will helping raise funds for the pair to pay their legal costs and fine – despite the fact the bakery has also recently made cakes for ‘gay cure’ groups.

Mr Stolhandske wrote in the Washington Post: “The Kleins say the $150,000 fee will bankrupt her family.

“I’m raising money to help offset that cost. I’ll send whatever we raise along to the Klein family with a message of love and peace.

“I don’t want them to suffer. But I am also pleading with them and other Christians to stop using the name of Jesus to explain to the LGBT community why we don’t deserve access to the civil rights afforded to heterosexuals through the legal institution of marriage.

“I hope the Kleins will accept this sign of good will. After all, they must see that our goals here are the same – to live our lives as we see fit and be treated equally under the law.

“Already I can hear the shouts from progressive and gay friends [but] this is what an olive branch looks like.

“I am not rewarding their behavior, but rather loving them in spite of it.

“It is time for these two communities, which both cite genuine love as our motivation, to put aside our prejudices and put down our pitchforks to clear the path for progress.”