A Voice for True Fairness: Aaron and Melissa Klein
Aaron and Melissa Klein have always been open about their Christian beliefs as owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon. Like so many of the business owners whose liberty has been threatened, the Kleins never thought their faith and their business would come into conflict.
After the Kleins politely refused to produce a cake for a same-sex wedding and the jilted couple filed suit, Oregon came down hard. Most notably, Brad Avakian, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, told the media his intention was to “rehabilitate” business owners like the Kleins. In other words, he wanted to compel them to abandon their principles get in line with state policy with regard to sexuality.
At the same time, the Kleins had to close the shop as they received dozens of threats against their business and their family.
An Oregon court found the Kleins to be in violation of that state’s non-discrimination law—similar to the proposed HB1510 / SB974 here in Pennsylvania—and has charged them an incredible $135,000 in fines and damages. And then, after Aaron Klein spoke out about his family’s intention to continue to fight, Avakian issued a gag order prohibiting the Kleins from speaking about defending their liberties. Litigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, as a gesture of goodwill the Kleins recently sent cakes to LGBT organizations around their region, including organizations that actively participated in their prosecution. The response was, sadly, predictably chilly.
If HB1510 / SB974 is passed in Pennsylvania, we will see bakers here go through similar ordeals, and many more will simply close up shop. There should be space for all to contribute to our communities, especially through the lovely (and tasty) work of confectionery. There’s nothing fair about limiting opportunities for people to use their talents to make our communities better.
Contact your senator and representative and ask them to oppose HB1510 / SB974 – the so-called “Fairness” Act.
KEEP PA FAIR – Oppose the so-called “Fairness” Act
Take Action: tinyurl.com/standfortruefairness