The state of Oregon punished a Christian-owned bakery called Sweet Cakes when the owners refused to use their talents to make a custom “wedding” cake for two homosexuals. Fined $135,000 in damages, Aaron and Melissa Klein also had to keep their mouths shut about their beliefs.
The couple lost in the Oregon Court of Appeals and asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case. The high court on Monday reversed the state court’s judgment. That court now has to review the case in light of Jack Phillips’s Supreme Court victory last year.
Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, lost his case in lower courts before the Supreme Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission discriminated against him.
From First Liberty, the Kleins’ legal counsel:
“This is a victory for Aaron and Melissa Klein and for religious liberty for all Americans,” said Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel to First Liberty. “The Constitution protects speech, popular or not, from condemnation by the government. The message from the Court is clear, government hostility toward religious Americans will not be tolerated.”
In Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Justices reminded government officials that they cannot be hostile to the free exercise of the religious beliefs of its citizens.
The Kleins had to shut down their business because of the fine.
Barronelle Stutzman, a florist, had asked the Supreme Court to hear her case after she lost in the Washington Supreme Court. The high court sent her case back to the state for reconsideration in light of the Phillips case, but the same court ruled against her last week.
Like Phillips and the Kleins, Stutzman served homosexuals but drew the line at participating in or celebrating what God calls sin. Phillips, for instance, also refused to make custom adult-themed cakes.