Court upholds $135K fine against Oregon couple who refused to bake a cake for same-sex wedding

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PORTLAND, OR (KOIN) — The Oregon Court of Appeals decided Thursday to uphold the $135,000 fine issued to the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding in 2013.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, who closed the cake shop in October 2016, appealed the fine to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries in March. They argued the fine violated their rights as artists to free speech, their rights as Oregonians to religious freedom and their rights as defendants to a due process.

The couple already paid the fine in December 2015, however, the Bureau of Labor and Industries was holding onto the money until all the appeals were settled.

The bakery owners made national headlines after they refused to bake a cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer in February 2013. They said their refusal was prompted by religious beliefs.

Due to the backlash, the couple closed their Gresham store in 2013 and ran the business out of their home until 2016.

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