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The collapse of religious liberty continues. With August’s news of religious liberty taking a backseat to sexual orientation in New Mexico  

September is starting off with a bang, too. News out of the northwest reveals that a Gresham, Oregon cake shop is closing its doors after allegations of discrimination against a gay couple.

Like cases now involving a Denver baker and a Washington state florist, the bakery’s owner has no issue serving homosexual persons, but insists that being forced to use her creative talents to bear on a same-sex marriage is too far.

According to news reports,

Aaron Klein, one of the owners of the "Sweet Cakes by Melissa,” refused to sell the cake to one of the brides-to-be because he said marriage should be only between a man and a woman.

Bowman later filed a complaint with the justice department, which Klein’s attorney Herbert Grey responded to. In his letter, Grey says the couple "elected not to participate in an event that is not even officially recognized under Oregon law when doing so would violate their constitutionally-protected conscience and religious beliefs."

All that hung in the store’s window is a sign that reads:
 

“Religious freedom is under attack in Gresham."

But embedded in this statement is also an additional truth: Conscience is under attack—not only in Gresham, but also through America as case after case involving similar disputes continue to pile up.

Cases like those in Gresham should give heightened concern for everyone. If legal protections are determined by what’s fashionable according to public opinion, no thought, no value, no sincerely-held belief is safe.

 

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center