Bakery will pay up to $150,000 for discriminating against gay couple

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A bakery unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple, and is liable to pay up to $150,000 in damages, it was announced on Monday.

Now facing a fine of up to $150,000 (£93,000), the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa which refused to provide a cake for a lesbian wedding may go bankrupt.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries announced on Monday that it had concluded its investigation, and that the owners of Sweet Cakes had unlawfully discriminated.

The bakery may be made to pay up to $75,000 (£50,000) per person, meaning it could face paying damages of up to $150,000 (£100,000).

An amount will be determined at a hearing on 10 March.

The owners of Sweet Cakes, an Oregon Bakery which last year closed its doors after refusing to provide a wedding cake to a same-sex couple, later accused gay activists of using “militant, mafia-style tactics” to force their business to shut down.

They have since run the business from their home, after the bakery closed its doors.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of the bakery, spoke at the Values Voter Summit in Washington DC, to say the fine was “definitely” enough to bankrupt them and their family.

Mr Klein suggested the state had “broken its own anti-discrimination laws”, saying a judge did not strike down the state’s same-sex marriage ban until way after the controversy took place.

Melissa Klein added: “It’s definitely impacted us pretty hard financially, and it’s been a little stressful, but…we have the Lord and so He’s been keeping us strong.”

The bakery posted pictures on its Facebook page in the summer of several cakes it had made for the ‘ex-gay’ Restored Hope Network, adding: “Cakes for Restored Hope Network. What a wonderful ministry!”