September 1st, 2013 By MATTHEW KORFHAGE | Food & Drink |

Gresham Cake Bakery That Refused Service to Gays Has Closed

Sweet Cakes by Melissa owner will bake from home

dish_cake_3930SWEET TASTE OF WICKEDNESS: This cake purchased from Gresham’s Sweet Cakes by Melissa bears an important message. - IMAGE: ronitphoto.com

Sweet Cakes by Melissa, the Gresham cake shop that made headlines in February by refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, closed its storefront this weekend.

An Aug. 30 entry on Sweet Cakes' Facebook page says, "This will be our last weekend at the shop we are moving our business to an in home bakery. [sic] I will post our new number soon. Email will stay the same melissa@sweetcakesweb.com."

The shop is not open for business Sundays, which made Saturday its final day of business.

This follows a state discrimination complaint filed by the lesbian couple in August of this year.

Sweet Cakes co-owner Aaron Klein had told the couple in January, "We don't do same-sex marriages." Demonstrators lined up outside the shop protesting discrimination, and the store's Facebook was inundated with messages showing support for the couple who'd been denied service. 

Reports also showed that the shop had received an uptick in business following the incident, from people who supported Sweet Cakes' position that they could refuse to serve same-sex couples on religious grounds. 

To test out which religious convictions would cause the shop to refuse business, Willamette Week called up the shop and asked them to make cakes for divorce, out-of-wedlock children, human stem cell research and a pagan solstice (with a pentacle design requested for the cake). All requests were responded to positively, with price quotes.

After Sweet Cakes announced its closing, multiple Facebook commenters showed support for the shop. One offered financial assistance, while another entreated Sweet Cakes, "Please do not let those who are trying to deny you your free expression of your faith to discourage you." 

While the Facebook page was once a contentious space, with arguments back and forth, comments expressing negative views of Sweet Cakes have since been removed, leaving mostly pictures of cakes

A comment with a different point of view was nonetheless posted at 9 am today on Sweet Cakes' Facebook: "Back in the Jim Crow era, white businesses would say "We are not discriminating. Stop trying to force us to do things that are against our beliefs! There are plenty of other business out that that can and will serve *them*."

That comment has been removed.

 
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