February 24th, 2014 By MATTHEW KORFHAGE | Food & Drink |

Sweet Cakes by Melissa Writes About Previously Refusing Service to Gays

Says that the others "understood and went to another bakery."

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 bakery that in February of 2013 famously refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, recently wrote on its Facebook page that it also refused service to other "gay people" in the past.

Last month, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry found "substantial evidence" that the bakery unlawfully refused service to the lesbian couple. The bakery maintained that being forced to make wedding cakes for gay and lesbians impinged on its religious freedom, despite Oregon's statutes forbidding discrimination against gays.

The bakery's storefront closed at the end of August 2013, but still sells baked goods from the home of owners Aaron and Melissa Klein.  On February 16, the bakery's Facebook account posted a comment stating that the bakery had refused service to other gay couples. Here's the comment from February 16:

Screen capture, 2 pm February 24

The gay-rights blog Justasgood.org took public note of the comment on February 21, and the news was reblogged by political blog Opposing Views. The next day, the Sweet Cakes for Melissa Facebook post was edited to say they've served gay customers but not gay customers who wanted wedding cakes.

Screen capture 2 pm February 24

WW wrote Sweet Cakes co-owner Melissa Klein asking under what circumstances she would serve homosexual customers, and under what circumstances she would feel justified in refusing them service. 

She responded almost immediately: "Given your papers past slandering of our business, specifically Martin Cizmar's lies, you will not get a response to your question." 

WW published an article last May, written by Cizmar, in which reporters asked Sweet Cakes for Melissa to make other cakes that might be seen as impinging on Christian beliefs: out-of-wedlock baby showers, divorce cakes, cakes congratulating successful stem-cell cloning, non-kosher cakes and pagan solstice cakes. The people who answered the phone at the bakery's now-closed storefront in Gresham offered to make all five cakes.

Aaron and Melissa Klein are currently accepting donations through their church, Portland's Lynchwood Church of God, under the name Klein's Support Fund. The church is not affiliated with the account in any way, says Lynchwood secretary Fern Beck, and the church does not discriminate against homosexuals who wish to attend.

"We feel that that is not the right kind of lifestyle," says Beck, "but we don’t stand in judgment of people."

 
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