These Christian Bakers, Who Appealed to the Supreme Court TWICE, Are Still in Court Fighting for Their Religious Freedom

Aaron and Melissa Klein have been through it. Their legal counsel, First Liberty Institute, laid it all out.

These bakers, who owned Sweet Cakes bakery, declined to make a custom “wedding cake” for two lesbians, and the women filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).

Boli ruled that the Kleins discriminated against the women and fined them $135,000 for so-called emotional damages (they could have gone to a different baker) for allegedly quoting the Bible.

The Kleins appealed BOLI’s ruling to the Oregon Court of Appeals, which ruled against them.

The bakers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices reversed the appeal court’s decision and sent the case back for a re-hearing in light of the high court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018). The court held that the state’s civil rights commission treated Jack Phillips’s faith with hostility.

Apparently, Masterpiece Cakeshop meant nothing to the Oregon Court of Appeals. It upheld the discrimination claim but struck down the $135,000 fine on the grounds that the BOLI violated the First Amendment’s “requirement of strict neutrality toward religion” when it determined damages.

See if you can follow this:

The Oregon Court of Appeals sent the case back to BOLI, which reimposed damages of $30,000. The Kleins asked the Supreme Court to step in again, and, again, the court told the Oregon Court of Appeals to rexamine the case, this time in light of 303 Creative LLC (2023). The high court ruled that requiring a Christian photographer to speak a message she opposes violated her freedom of speech.

Are you still with me? Case status: the Oregon Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case last month.

“Freedom of speech has always included the freedom not to speak the government’s message,” said Stephanie Taub, Senior Counsel to First Liberty Institute. “The First Amendment protects all Americans, of different perspectives and beliefs, to not be forced to use their art to send a message with which they disagree.”

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One comment

  1. These Cases reveal alot about those on the Bench. It exposes that one can be so smart that they are ignorant of wise counsel n in need of simple manners n courtesy NOT legal actions. Smh sad shameful n so selfish are those that Sue for their way vs go onto another Baker geez. HOW ABOUT SAYING TO THE COURT – These Bakers wish to sue these customers for trying to force their “religious wants” on our business?
    The customers doing to the Bakers what they accuse the Bakers doin to them. The lack of common respect knows no bounds logic or SHAME just sad… imho