Court rules against OR bakers who refused to make gay wedding cake

Posted December 30, 2017

Following their lost appeal, the OR court said the Kleins' argument that their cakes are a form of artistic expression is "entitled to be taken seriously", but that others would not consider them as they would a statue OR a painting.

Their lawyers said Avakian and the state Bureau of Labor and Industries violated the Kleins' rights as artists to free speech, their rights to religious freedom and their rights as defendants to a due process.

"It does not matter how you were born or who you love".

For the past ten years, the Oregon Equality Act of 2007 has protected Oregonians from unlawful discrimination in housing, employment and public places.

First Liberty Institute, a national religious liberty advocacy group that assisted in the Kleins' case, said it was disappointed in the ruling. "It's definitely had its toll on them", Aaron Klein said.

"The court's decision is unsurprising because it is consistent with decisions by courts across the country that have similarly refused to create a new constitutional right of businesses to exempt themselves from civil rights laws and harm same-sex couples through discriminatory denials of service", Marcus told NBC News via email.

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The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the case of a Colorado baker who claims his First Amendment freedoms allow him to refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

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

But on Thursday, the court shot down that argument, too, and said the Kleins failed to prove it was not comparable to previous judgments.

The Oregon ruling comes as the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up the question of whether wedding vendors who disagree with gay marriage must be forced to service same-sex wedding ceremonies, even if doing so would violate their religious convictions. "And what's unfortunate here is that a family and their business has been punished because of their religious beliefs".

What does the lesbian couple have to say about the latest decision?

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.