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The court affirmed the Oregon Bureau of Labor's ruling that Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, located in Gresham, illegally discriminated against the couple and are liable for a $135,000 fine, reports The Register-Guard of Eugene.

When Aaron Klein discovered the cake was for a gay couple, he told the women he and his wife did not make cakes for same-sex weddings due to their religious beliefs.

Furthermore, the judges found that the Kleins intentionally inflicted emotional harm on the Bowman-Pryors by sharing their address and contact information online and urging Christians to bombard the couple with hate mail and try to have their children taken away.

"Today's ruling sends a strong signal that OR remains open to all", Brad Avakian, the state's labor commissioner, said in a written statement. Their attorneys haven't decided yet whether they will appeal the court's decision to the Oregon Supreme Court.

Rachel Bowman-Cryer's mother returned later to reason with Aaron Klein, who then said her daughter and her fiancé were "abominations".

The religious rights legal group First Liberty Institute defended the Kleins before the court. They are considering this option, their attorneys said. Orgeon will not allow a "Straight Couples Only" sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores.

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Shackelford added, "In a diverse and pluralistic society, people of goodwill should be able to peacefully coexist with different beliefs".

In a statement, Cryer and Bowman applauded the court ruling saying, "All of us are equal under the law and should be treated equally".

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments earlier this month in a similar case involving a bakery in Colorado.

The U.S. Department of Justice, led by Trump appointee Jeff Sessions, submitted an amicus brief in support of Phillips, arguing, "Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights".

The court also rejected the theory (which is being pushed by some advocates in the Masterpiece case as well) that heightened scrutiny is appropriate in a Free Exercise case if other rights - like, here, Free Speech - are also implicated.


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