Bakery Closes after Refusing to Make Wedding Cake for Gay Couple

by Andrew Johnson

Constant protests and death threats have forced the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a Gresham, Ore., family bakery whose refusal to make a wedding cake for a gay couple triggered a state investigation, to close its doors.

On the bakery’s Facebook page, the owners announced that last weekend was its last at the current location and that they would be moving the business to their home. The post was accompanied by a passage from the Book of Proverbs: “Better is a poor man who walks in integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”

After owner Aaron Klein declined to bake a cake for a same-sex couple in January because of his Christian faith, LGBT activists “badgered and harassed” the bakery with protests and boycotts, as well as any other businesses that Sweet Cakes by Melissa collaborated with; Klein said he and his family also received death threats.

The lesbian couple that originally asked for the cake also filed a discrimination complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Last month, the bureau announced it would investigate the complaint.

“Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate,” the commissioner said. “The goal is to rehabilitate. For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.”

The now-empty store displays a sign reading “Religious freedom is under attack in Gresham.”