In 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of the Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, declined to create a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. They explained that because of their religious beliefs, they felt uncomfortable promoting same-sex marriage through their business. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries reacted by imposing a $135,000 fine on the Kleins, driving them out of business.
CJV filed an amicus brief in this case, joining many other organizations to counter this threat to religious freedom and freedom of speech — one forced to send a message through creative work does not have that First Amendment freedom, either.
Just last Friday, a Superior Court Judge in California ruled in favor of Cathy Miller, owner of Tastries Bakery, in a parallel case, after her attorneys argued that her right to free speech and free expression of religion trumped the argument that she violated the anti-discrimination law. Clearly the courts are recognizing that the First Amendment still has value, and religious rights must be protected.
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