Political philosophy Archives
October 7, 2013
My Apologies to Orwell
A same-sex couple who requested a cake for their wedding in January but were refused service by a Gresham bakery have filed a complaint with the state, alleging “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” discriminated against them based on their sexual orientation.
Rachel N. Cryer, 30, said she had gone to the Gresham bakery on Jan. 17 for a scheduled appointment to order a wedding cake. She met with the owner, Aaron Klein. Klein asked for the date of the wedding and names of the bride and groom, Cryer said. "I told him, 'There are two brides and our names are Rachel and Laurel,' " according to her complaint. Klein responded that his business does not provide its services for same-sex weddings, she said. "Respondent cited a religious belief for its refusal to make cakes for same-sex couples planning to marry," the complaint says.
"We are committed to a fair and thorough investigation to determine whether there's substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination," said Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian. He advocated for the 2007 law when he was a state senator.
"Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn't mean that folks have the right to discriminate," Avakian said, speaking generally. An administrative law judge could assess civil penalties. "The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate," Avakian said. "For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon."