PORTLAND, Ore. — Attorneys for an Oregon couple that was ordered to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to two lesbians after they declined to provide a cake for the women’s “wedding” have filed their argument for appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals.
This case “is about the state forcing business owners to publicly facilitate ceremonies, rituals, and other expressive events with which they have fundamental and often, as in this case, religious disagreements,” the brief reads. “In this case, BOLI misinterpreted [the law], mistakenly concluding that declining to facilitate same-sex weddings is legally the same as refusing to sell goods or services to gay people.”
It alleges that the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) not only violated Aaron and Melissa Klein’s religious and free speech rights, but also their constitutional right to due process. The brief contends that BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian made public statements that suggested the Kleins had “disobey[ed]” Oregon law and needed to be “rehabilitate[d]” even before their case had been heard.
“In America, you’re protected by the Constitution and you’re also innocent until proven guilty,” said Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO of First Liberty Institute, in a press released on Tuesday. “Commissioner Brad Avakian decided the Kleins were guilty before he even heard their case. This is an egregious violation of the Kleins’ rights to due process. We hope theOregon Court of Appeals will remedy this by reversing or dismissing the government’s case against the Kleins.”
Written by Heather Clark
Full story at Chriatian News