Well publicized both state-wide and nationally, the Sweet Cakes by Melissa Case is once again making news with their new representation, C. Boyden Gray and First Liberty Institute.
Back in 2013, Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of the bakery, refused to bake a cake for a homosexual couple’s wedding ceremony. The Klein’s hold that it is within the scope of their constitutional rights to have freedom of speech and practice of their religion. Part of that practice to them was refraining from participation in any marriage ceremonies for homosexual couples.
The state charged them with a fine for causing emotional and mental damages to the homosexual couple. The latest advancement in the case occurred in December when the Kleins paid $136,927.07 to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, while waiting to hear form the Oregon Court of Appeals.
In anticipation of their appeal, C. Boyden Gray has taken the lead as their new lawyer. Former ambassador to the European Union and White House counsel for President George H. W. Bush, Gray stated, “America is a great nation because we celebrate diversity of thought… Our rights to free expression and religious liberty are some of our most cherished American freedoms. We must safeguard these rights for everyone American – including Aaron and Melissa Klein.”
First Liberty Institute, from which Gray is volunteering, is a legal organization committed to protecting religious liberty in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. They claim to win over 90% of their cases, and are dedicated to protecting the religious rights of people in the business place like the Klein family.
First Liberty Institute CEO Kelly Shackelford stated, “The government should never force people to violate their conscience or celebrate causes they don’t believe in… As the Kleins’ new appellate team, we are committed to fighting for their First Amendment freedoms of religious liberty and free expression.”