An Oregon bake shop that made headlines for refusing service to a lesbian couple has closed, the company announced on Facebook.
Sweet Cakes By Melissa was ordered to pay $135,000 to Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer after refusing to bake a cake for the couple’s 2013 wedding, a move that violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws. But the right-wing media isn’t blaming the bakery’s closure on the actions of owners Aaron and Melissa Klein.
The Strident Conservative website blamed the “Gay Mafia thugs working on behalf of the LGBT radicals.” These “thugs” are “armed to the hilt, and stand ready to advance their pro-LGBT, anti-Christian, anti-American agenda,” the website claimed, in comments that were also picked up by Red State.
Conservative commentator and Fox News regular Todd Starnes blasted a “homofascist mob” and “left-wing bigots and bullies,” while the Gospel Herald claimed the bake shop was the victim of “persecution.”
State officials maintain the case was simply about following the law.
“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage,” Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian wrote in his decision last year, according to The Oregonian. “It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.”
The Kleins appealed the ruling, but the process is still pending. While the bakery itself closed in 2013, the couple had continued to operate the business out of their home until the closure, Gay Star News reported. Based on the bakery’s Facebook page, they seemed to specialize in cakes baked inside mason jars.
A crowdfunding page set up to help the couple remains active after raising more than $400,000.
However, the Bowman-Cryers told The Advocate that they have received “hateful, violent threats” from right-wing bigots who are angry at them for asking a baker to bake a cake.
(h/t Raw Story)