Director, Commonwealth Policy Center
The Portland Bureau of Labor and Industries awarded a same-sex couple $135,000 because a bakery owner refused to bake them a wedding cake two years ago. That’s a lot of dough. Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian said the ruling “is not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation.” Bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein cited religious objections as their reason for refusing to bake the cake. While this ruling may be seen by some as a victory for homosexual activists, it is in fact a terrible blow to religious freedom in the United States. Business owners should have the right to stand by their religious and moral convictions. Of course, consumers still have the right to simply choose someone else to fill their needs. Sweet Cakes by Melissa has been closed since 2013, and this ruling more than likely eliminates any chance of it ever opening again. What more it will accomplish remains to be seen.