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Oregon appeals court orders state agency to reconsider $135,000 fine against Christian bakers

The Oregon Court of Appeals Wednesday issued a partial reversal of a state agency’s ruling against two evangelical Christian bakers who declined to create a {custom} cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony on non secular grounds.

The court stated the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, or BOLI, “acted non-neutrally” against Aaron and Melissa Klein and ordered the agency to reconsider the $135,000 fine imposed on the Gresham couple’s enterprise.

Wednesday’s choice upheld the discovering that the Kleins had discriminated in turning down the cake order, however stated “the damages portion of the proceedings before BOLI did not comport with the First Amendment’s requirement of strict neutrality toward religion,” requiring a reconsideration of the fine.

While noting the willpower that BOLI should reassess the fine imposed on the bakers, attorneys at First Liberty Institute, which together with former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray represents the couple, stated they may enchantment as a result of the Oregon court is asking the panel that unfairly fined the Kleins to resolve the case yet another time.

“Oregon is trying to have its cake and eat it, too,” Stephanie Taub, a First Liberty senior counsel, stated in an announcement.  “The Court admits the state agency that acted as both prosecutor and judge in this case was biased against the Kleins’ faith. Yet, despite this anti-Christian bias that infected the whole case, the court is sending the case back to the very same agency for a do-over. Today’s opinion should have been the end of this ten-year-long saga.  It’s time for the state of Oregon’s hostility toward Aaron and Melissa to end.”

The Kleins, who traded as “Sweetcakes by Melissa,” declined a lady’s request for a custom-designed cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony, saying that to achieve this would violate their religion. The BOLI discovered that the Kleins had violated the civil rights of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer and awarded $75,000 to Rachel Bowman-Cryer and $60,000 to Laurel.

At problem was Aaron Klein’s reported citing of Leviticus 18:22 which within the King James model reads, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.”

The Kleins appealed first to the state appeals court, which backed the BOLI, after which, in 2018 to the Supreme Court of the United States, which vacated the state court’s ruling and remanded the matter again in gentle of the excessive court’s 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. ruling which discovered that Colorado’s civil rights panel had been hostile to baker Jack Phillips in an identical case.

Attorney Jennifer C. Pizer, senior counsel at homosexual rights advocacy legislation agency Lambda Legal, who represented the Bowman-Cryers, stated in an announcement, “The [appeals] court was right five years ago and is still right today. The Kleins’ faith does not give them a pass to ignore Oregon’s Public Accommodation Law.”

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