Sweet Cakes by Melissa owners refuse to pay $135,000 settlement despite raising $500,000 for legal fees.
Laurel Bowman and Rachel Cryer first filed their consumer complaint against Sweet Cakes by Melissa in 2013. The claim was because the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to work with the couple because they were a same-sex couple. The little cake shop in Oregon had no problem providing a cake for the couple in 2011 for Cryer’s mother's’ wedding. The owners were aware of the fact that the couple was same sex and had a number of emails that proved this yet, the owners of Sweet Cakes insisted the couple come to the bakery to finalize the details of their cake. Upon arrival the owner had no problem speaking his mind freely about what an "abomination" the families were.
Since the claim was filed with the Oregon Department of Justice the couple has become victims of death threats, hate filled social media discussions and attacks that all tend to begin with the vocalized views of the Sweet Cakes owners Aaron and Melissa Klein. They publicly posted their full names and address in one post, which left the couple fearing for their own personal safety.
The court ruled in favor of the couple awarding them a total of $135,000 in July 2015. This is partially because of the Klein’s very public reactions to the filed claim that spark a number of the threat Bowman and Cryer received. Oregon Law specifically prohibits any business in the service industry to discriminate against any individual(s) based on sexual orientation.
— AugustLady241 (@AugustLady241) October 3, 2015
If you raise $500K in funding to pay a $135K judgement, but you don't intend to pay, isn't that theft by deception? http://t.co/8DsNII0N1L
— Big Gay irishbearaz (@irishbearaz) October 1, 2015
The Klein’s initially set up a GoFundMe account to help raise money to pay for the legal fees from the case. They rose close to $500,000 before the site shut down their page for breaking from policy guidelines. The Klein’s have yet to make payment to the couple and appealed the decision.
The Klein’s appeal to the ruling ignited many anti-gay organizations and group to cause a media frenzy of misinformation. Claims that the Klein’s were issued a gag order and that they were forced to close down their business have all sparked hate filled reactions against the couple. The Klein’s are not innocent in all the ordeals. Recently Melissa Klein baked 10 cakes with a heart on them with ‘we love you’ written on top. The cakes were shipped out with a copy of Audacity, a film about the Christian view of homosexuality, along with a $25 gift card included and sent to a number of gay rights groups.
The Bowman-Cryer’s however, are taking the high road. They are simply making others aware of what happened to them so other couples do not have to go through the nightmare they went through. Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman married in 2014 and finalized a pending adoption of two children during the whole ordeal.