If the state of Oregon thought it could bully Christians into line on gay marriage, well, it didn’t quite go as they expected.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, who owned the bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. The couple filed a lawsuit against
Last month, the Kleins–who had already lost their bakery due to legal fees and a drop-off in business–were hit with a massive $135,000 fine, payable to the lesbian couple in question, to compensate for “damages for emotional and mental suffering” they apparently suffered after not getting a cake baked for them.
The massive fine was, largely, because Oregon sought to make an example of them and give a strong message to other Christians: “Support gay marriage, or pay the price.”
Unfortunately for Oregon, it looks like Christians don’t cave so easily–because many of them have rallied to support the Kleins. And not just with words of encouragement and support–but by gifting them money to help pay the fine.
In fact, the Kleins, who launched a crowdfunding drive on the website Continue to Give to help pay down their fine, have already raised about $286,000–more than double the amount needed to pay their fine.
“For this to go this far, it’s ridiculous,” Aaron Klein told a local Fox News station. “It should scare every American.” He went on to call what he and his wife suffered part of a greater nationwide “persecution of Christians.”
For now, the Kleins plan to call for a judicial review, which would allow their fine to be revisited by the Oregon court system before they had to pay anything.
But beyond that, the Kleins also plan to change the system–and better protect vulnerable Christian small business owners like themselves in the future.
“I would appeal to everybody in the state of Oregon,” Aaron Klein added, in his interview. “Understand that this is the way things operate. We need to institute change, take the government to task for violating our constitutional freedoms at whatever level they are doing it.”