Business is reportedly booming at the Oregon-based bakery that sparked a national conversation after its owners turned away a lesbian bride-to-be who hoped to buy a cake for her forthcoming wedding.
As KATU is reporting, Sweet Cakes by Melissa owner Aaron Klein is standing by his decision to turn away the same-sex couple, saying he's received "lots of support" in the days since the case made headlines around the country.
The bakery is reportedly the subject of an ongoing investigation by the state's Oregon Attorney General's civil enforcement officers, as the Oregon Equality Act of 2007 prohibits discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the report.
A Feb. 9 protest staged by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates did little to deter customers, and the owners say they were sold out of cupcakes.
"If he believes in God and he full heartedly does not believe in same-sex marriage then he shouldn't have to bake a cake for them," one supporter told KMVT. "He should be able to freely deny them without all this backlash."
Klein, who owns the bakery with his wife Melissa, told NBC he was simply living in accordance with his religious beliefs by rejecting the lesbian couple's request. Furthermore, he believes his decision to deny the couple service is protected by his Constitutional right to practice his religion as he sees fit.
"I think [the state labor commissioner] is going to have decide what's more important: The Oregon State Constitution, or the statute that was passed in 2007," Klein now says. "They dropped the ball by not putting in any exemption for religious beliefs."
Meanwhile, there is a spot of good news for the rejected couple, who have been identified in the media only as Laurel Bowman of Portland, Ore. and her fiancée. The pair will accept "Ace of Cakes" star Duff Goldman's offer of a free cake.
Though Bowman had previously purchased a proper wedding cake from local baker Laura Widener, Goldman will prep a second "bride's cake" in the style of a traditional groom's cake for the pair, according to The Oregonian.
The executive chef of the Baltimore-based Charm City Cakes first reached out to the couple in an appearance on HuffPost Live. "For a cake decorator to really feel like he really needed to take a stand…it just makes absolutely no sense," he said at the time. "It’s petty, it’s small…this man has wrapped up his hatred in the cloak of religion.”
Also on HuffPost:
An Iowa lesbian couple might have hoped to find a wedding cake that was both delicate and sweet, but they say <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/14/iowa-wedding-cake-lesbian-couple_n_1092789.html" target="_blank">their experience with a Des Moines-based baker</a> left behind a sour taste. As KCCI-TV<a href="http://www.kcci.com/news/29753206/detail.html" target="_hplink"> is reporting</a>, the owner of Victoria's Cake Cottage refused to bake a cake for Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers, who are planning a June wedding, because she is Christian. Victoria Childress, who runs her bakery from home, says it's her right as a business owner to turn away customers."I said, 'I'll tell you I'm a Christian, and I do have convictions.' And I said, 'I'm sorry to tell you, but I'm not going to be able to do your cake," Childress, who met the couple during a taste-testing appointment, said. "I didn't do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right, and it's not to discriminate against them. It's not so much to do with them, it's to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer [to] Him for."
A Phoenix-based lesbian couple cried foul after <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2012/02/28/20120228phoenix-sheraton-reach-out-ousted-lesbian-couple.html" target="_hplink">being told to "get a room" by a hotel restaurant manager</a> during a romantic dinner. <em>The Arizona Republic</em> says Kenyata White and Aeimee Diaz, both 38, chose to celebrate their two-year anniversary at the District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, located inside the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, on Sunday because they met there. "My partner and I were reminiscing...in one of the tall booths," White told the paper. "I had my arm around her neck, and she had her hand around my waist. I gave her a hug for about a minute, pulled myself away to give her a quick kiss, and then we continued talking." White told AZ Family that <a href="http://www.azfamily.com/news/A-Lesbian-couple-is-kicked-out-of-a-Downtown-hotel-after-sharing-a-kiss-140801993.html" target="_hplink">she and Diaz were then approached</a> by a restaurant manager, who "came up to us and said we should get a room. That our behavior was inappropriate and we should leave the establishment."
Rose Marie Belforti, the town clerk in Ledyard, N.Y., drew national attention after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The town's government is behind Belforti, saying it cannot force her to issue licenses.
A Florida-based lesbian couple said they were humiliated by their driver's license application "nightmare" after the Pinellas County DMV rejected their name change request after an hour-long wait.
The owner of a new gay bar on Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood said he was refused service because a printing company thinks homosexuality is wrong. The printing company's owner argued he didn't approve of the artwork on the promotional material.
Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit against the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville, Vermont after the proprietors <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-alexander/a-change-is-gonna-come_1_b_1079932.html" target="_hplink">refused to host</a> Katherine Baker and Ming-Lien Linsley's same-sex wedding reception. As ABC <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/vermont-inn-sued-refusal-host-gay-couples-wedding/story?id=14110076#.TsFfOoBPkqU" target="_hplink">is reporting</a>, the inn updated its website shortly thereafter to announce it is "no longer hosting weddings or special events."
In August, Alix Genter, a lesbian bride-to-be, claimed to have been denied service at Here Comes the Bride in Somers Point, N.J., after the salon's manager said she didn't want to be associated with the pending "illegal action," <a href="http://articles.philly.com/2011-08-18/news/29900898_1_bridal-shop-dresses-gay-marriage" target="_hplink">according to the</a><em> Philadelphia Daily News</em>.