Oregon bakery ordered to pay $135,000 damages to lesbian couple

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A bakery that refused to make a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding has been ordered to pay damages.

Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer said the owners of Sweet Cakes had refused to make them a cake when they found out it was for their wedding, and then quoted anti-gay Bible verse to justify it.

The bakery subsequently closed down.

Judge Allan McCullough said: “The forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000, are appropriate awards to compensate for the emotional suffering they experienced.

Ann Harmon, who represented the bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein, said: “This is a shocking result which shows the state’s relentless campaign to punish Oregonians who live and work according to their faith.

“Aaron and Melissa have worked hard for what they have. They are living on the fruits of American entrepreneurship. Now the State of Oregon, through an administrative agency, has ordered that all they worked for should be taken away simply because they declined to participate in an event which violated their religious beliefs.”

Jeana Frazzini, director of Basic Rights Oregon, an LGBT rights group said: “This case struck a chord with many Oregonians because allowing businesses to deny goods and services to people because of who they are and whom they love is hurtful and wrong.

“We are proud to live in a state where our lives are honoured and respected.Thank you to Brad Avakian and the Bureau of Labor and Industry for enforcing our laws and helping bring dignity and respect to all Oregonians.”

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