Notorious bigoted bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein appeared at the Values Voters Summit, and turned it into a party of self pity and blind religious privilege. Melissa Klein broke down and cried over the loss of her bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, according to this Friday news report. In case you don’t remember, Sweet Cakes by Melissa was under intense scrutiny for more than a year after Melissa and her husband Aaron refused service to a lesbian couple who wanted to purchase a cake for their wedding. The Kleins famously cited their Christian religion for refusing service to the couple, even though Oregon state law specifically states that all businesses must serve all members of the public, including LGBTQ persons. Consumer protection laws in the state prevent business owners from doing exactly what Aaron and Melissa Klein did, yet they’ve still become heroes for the far right and religious ideologues who believe discriminating against the LGBTQ community somehow equals “religious freedom.”
Not only did hundreds of people actively boycott their bakery, the state of Oregon did find evidence that Aaron and Melissa violated state law by committing discrimination against the lesbian couple they refused to serve. They were fined $150,000.00 for their violation, to the celebration of the LGBTQ community, and those who boycotted the bakery. After several months you would think that Aaron and Melissa would come to terms with the fact that they violated state law, but they are still crying out that their so called “religious freedom” has been violated. Even after all this time they still refuse to learn the difference between religious freedom and illegal discrimination. It has been stated time and time again: Religious freedom is a Constitutional right entitled to all Americans, but once you open a public business you are bound by law to serve the public indiscriminately.
Melissa Klein loves baking. That’s obvious by the passionate way she talks about her craft. However, she and her husband not only discriminated against a same sex couple, but referred to them as “abominations,” causing one of the women to leave the bakery in tears. Over the course of this case both Aaron and Melissa have been caught making horrible comments about gays, President Obama and liberals on their social media profiles. Aaron has also been screenshot using homophobic slurs, as has his adult sister. All of these little facts that have been revealed over the course of this saga show a pattern of homophobic bigotry, racism and political hatred. The Kleins baked this hatred into their cakes and cookies while hiding behind the excuse of religious freedom. Hate Cakes by Melissa could still be operating today, and Melissa wouldn’t be crying, had she and her husband simply followed the law.