The media firestorm surrounding Oregon's Sweet Cakes by Melissa shows no signs of dying down anytime soon.
Bakery co-owner Aaron Klein, who violated state laws when he turned away Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer when they sought a wedding cake because they were a lesbian couple in 2013, is once again speaking out about the case. In a recent interview with conservative radio host Rick Wiles, Klein suggested that churches across the nation will soon be required to fly the rainbow flag, Right Wing Watch first reported.
"The people who sit in the pews on Sunday are not protected. We've got to stand up, we've got to make our voices heard," he said. "If we don't, we will find it inside the church. You will have the rainbow flag flying above your church because [otherwise] it will be considered hate."
Wiles took it a step further, comparing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to the Nazi party, which he deemed "a militant homosexual network that took over Germany" in the 1930s, and noted, "rainbow flag, Nazi swastika -- it's the same thing, it's the same spirit behind it."
Pointing to ContinueToGive fundraiser for Sweet Cakes by Melissa that broke the crowdsourcing site's records, Klein added, "This could be a turning point. Satan may have overplayed his hand, and we might have a chance for a revival in this country if we do our due diligence and we follow God's word."
The interview is merely the latest installment in what's become a seemingly never-ending controversy. Last week, the Bowman-Cryers broke their silence in an interview with Willamette Week, saying that co-owner Melissa Klein had encouraged them to order their wedding cake through her bakery well before the 2013 meeting with Aaron Klein, after which they were turned away. (Melissa Klein has since dismissed that claim)
For his part, Aaron Klein argued that he and Melissa were simply living in accordance with their religious beliefs by rejecting the lesbian couple's request. Although the court ruled in the Bowman-Cryer's favor earlier this year and awarded them $135,000, the couple said their fight was never about the money.
“If we had been given the option, we probably would have said: 'Just apologize. Just say you’re sorry and go away,'” Rachel said.
Added Laurel: “We’ve never asked for a penny from anybody. The Kleins have been out there begging for money to pay the fine. And they still continue to ask for money, and say that they’re not going to pay the fine because they don’t want the money to go to us.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misidentified the site hosting the crowdsourcing fundraiser as GoFundMe. It is actually ContinueToGive. Although a GoFundMe campaign in support of Sweet Cakes by Melissa was launched, it has since been shut down.