A bakery just went out of business because intolerant leftists couldn’t handle the owners exercising their right to religious liberty.
The owners of the Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes, Aaron and Melissa Klein, were not willing to bake a cake for a gay wedding in 2013, and this was too much for the leftist to handle.
The Oregon state government penalized the Kleins with a hefty fine of $135,000 under the guise of supposedly violating the Oregon Equality Act of 2007. The law, RedState explains, actually “contained exemptions for religious organizations and schools when it came to sexual orientation issues, the state does not consider religion to be relevant when it comes to Christian-owned businesses.” Additionally, the Kleins also had to deal with the burden of death threats and protests.
Eventually, it all became too much for them:
Efforts to survive as Aaron and Melissa Klein fought to have their right to religious freedom restored have been long and difficult. They closed the doors to their storefront location in 2013 and moved the business to their home in order to no longer be a place of public accommodation. They started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money in order to pay their fine, but GoFundMe shut it down claiming that it violated company policy. And in December, 2015, just before Christmas, the state of Oregon seized every penny of the personal funds.
Sweet Cakes is now officially finished as a business, and it’s all because the left couldn’t tolerate the Kleins’ religious beliefs.
Progressives cloak intolerance with their usual cries of bigotry against couples like the Kleins. But to call refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding bigotry misses the point entirely, as National Review‘s Alexandra DeSanctis explains in defending Indiana’s religious liberty law: (emphasis bolded)
What these laws do is provide protection to citizens who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. This means that a baker or florist or photographer who believes that marriage is limited to one man and one woman cannot be compelled by the state to bake a cake or arrange flowers or take photographs as part of a same-sex wedding celebration. This does not mean that a baker or florist can deny service to a gay man because he is gay; if a business owner did so, RFRA laws would not protect him from government action. It bears noting that the vast majority of individuals being sued in cases such as these had gladly served LGBT people for decades, and only objected when they were asked to contribute their services to same-sex weddings.
And therein lies the key point: the Kleins were not refusing based on sexual preferences but on engaging in a specific action that would clearly violate their religious beliefs. There is nothing bigoted about that.
Even still, nobody should be forced to provide a service. As Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro has written: “You do not have a right to my services; I have a right to provide my services to whomever I choose. If you believe that your interpretation of public good enables you to bring a gun to the party, you are a bully and a tyrant. So it is with the modern American left, to whom freedom now means only the freedom to do what it is the left wants you to do at point of gun.”
That’s exactly what happened to the Kleins. By refusing to contribute to a something they believe runs counter to their faith, the left bullied them with threats, protests and fines to the point where their business was forced to shut down. The leftist bullies won, and that should scare all liberty-loving Americans no matter what your political, religious, or sexual persuasion.