State labor investigators in Oregon say a cake company near Portland violated a lesbian couple's civil rights after refusing to make them a wedding cake.

KATU reports the couple went in to 'Sweet Cakes By Melissa' in Gresham last January to get a cake for their wedding when one of the co-owners told them he couldn't make one for them.

KPTV notes the company chose not to make them a cake because of the owner's religious beliefs, but a state law passed in 2007 says no one can be denied service because of their sexual orientation.

Although the married owners say they were just exercising their right to freedom of religion, a local law professor told KOIN those beliefs can't be exercised if they violate state law.

"If you're going to run a commercial business, you have an obligation to follow the rules that apply to everyone, regardless of whether your religious views differ."

The same-sex couple's attorney said his clients have found the ruling bittersweet. As for the owners, The Oregonian reports their attorney believes the ruling is unfair because gay marriage isn't legal in the state of Oregon.

"They’re being punished by the state of Oregon for refusing to participate in an event that the state of Oregon does not recognize."

After learning about the ruling, Melissa, who the business is named after wrote on Facebook saying: "God is great, amazing and all powerful. I know He has a plan."

KGW-TV reports the owners have to decide if they'll take the case to court or settle with the couple. A local legal expert said the odds wouldn't be on the owners' side if they went to court.

Investigators: Bakery Violated Gay Couple's Civil Rights

by Collin Ruane
0
Transcript
Jan 18, 2014

Investigators: Bakery Violated Gay Couple's Civil Rights

(Image source: The Oregonian / Everton Bailey Jr.)

BY Collin Ruane

State labor investigators in Oregon say a cake company near Portland violated a lesbian couple's civil rights after refusing to make them a wedding cake.


KATU reports the couple went in to 'Sweet Cakes By Melissa' in Gresham last January to get a cake for their wedding when one of the co-owners told them he couldn't make one for them.


KPTV notes the company chose not to make them a cake because of the owner's religious beliefs, but a state law passed in 2007 says no one can be denied service because of their sexual orientation.


Although the married owners say they were just exercising their right to freedom of religion, a local law professor told KOIN those beliefs can't be exercised if they violate state law.


"If you're going to run a commercial business, you have an obligation to follow the rules that apply to everyone, regardless of whether your religious views differ."


The same-sex couple's attorney said his clients have found the ruling bittersweet. As for the owners, The Oregonian reports their attorney believes the ruling is unfair because gay marriage isn't legal in the state of Oregon.


"They’re being punished by the state of Oregon for refusing to participate in an event that the state of Oregon does not recognize."


After learning about the ruling, Melissa, who the business is named after wrote on Facebook saying: "God is great, amazing and all powerful. I know He has a plan."


KGW-TV reports the owners have to decide if they'll take the case to court or settle with the couple. A local legal expert said the odds wouldn't be on the owners' side if they went to court.

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