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September 4th, 2013 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs: Building Bridges and Hotels.

murmurs_3944Image courtesy Roger Givens
     
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  • As first reported on wweek.com, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, the Gresham bakery that made headlines in February by refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, closed its storefront Saturday, Aug. 31. Owners Melissa and Aaron Klein announced the move to a home bakery Aug. 30 on their Facebook page. They then posted a sign in the shop window: “Your religious freedom is becoming not free anymore. This is ridiculous that we cannot practice our faith.” The closure follows a state discrimination complaint filed in August by the couple who was denied service. The bakery’s Facebook page was taken down Monday, after hundreds of comments arguing for or against the shop’s closure.
  • More than two dozen Oregon elected officials paid their respects Sept. 2 at the Northwest Oregon Labor Council’s annual Oaks Park picnic. But one pol up for re-election in 2014 was conspicuously absent: Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen. As he awaits the result of an Oregon Department of Justice criminal investigation into his affair with a county employee, Cogen is the forgotten man in local politics. Last week, commissioners in Washington and Multnomah counties completed a rare boundary land swap. Commissioner Deborah Kafoury, not Cogen, spoke for the state’s most-populous county. Neither Cogen nor Kafoury appeared at the Labor Day picnic—a must for politicians seeking union dollars. Instead, Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith declared her re-election bid. (The only candidate who has actually filed for county chair is perennial also-ran Wes Soderback.) 
  • At the Labor Day picnic, Metro President Tom Hughes kicked off his re-election campaign by tying himself firmly to trade-union and business interests in building a 600-room headquarters hotel adjacent to the Oregon Convention Center, accusing opponents of the project of “class warfare.” One potential challenger mulling whether Hughes is vulnerable is three-term state Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland), chairman of the House Energy and Environment Committee. Bailey says he will decide within a month whether to run. “Right now, I’m running for re-election,” he adds, “but that could change.”  
  • CC Slaughters has rejected another newlywed gay couple. Roger Givens and Daniel Lawton of Salem stopped by the venerable gay bar and nightclub on Aug. 30, after getting married in Vancouver, Wash. They wore matching shirts that read “Groom” and rainbow-colored bow ties. Givens says a bouncer barred them because gay marriage is illegal in Oregon. “It was a bit shocking,” Givens says. “Part of me was just kind of flabbergasted that they would do that at a gay bar.” Slaughters also barred two female newlyweds Aug. 10 (“Brides Denied,” WW, Aug. 28, 2013). Bar manager Kevin Hutman says wedding attire is verboten at the club, regardless of sexual orientation. “We have a dress code,” Hutman says. “It would be discrimination if we allow some couples in and not others.”
 
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