• WKBW: Michael Naab, 34, and Amber Naab, 37, reportedly bragged on social media of using fake vaccination cards to attend a Buffalo Bills game. They’ve been charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree with a possible 7 year prison sentence. Continue reading “News Round-Up: January 27, 2022”
Just months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a narrow ruling on Colorado baker Jack Phillips’ appeal for refusing to make a cake for a gay couple, another anti-LGBT bakery has asked the Supreme Court to consider their appeal.
The petition for review, filed last Friday by the conservative law firm First Liberty on behalf of Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, asserts the couple’s First Amendment rights to refuse service to a lesbian couple, according to SCOTUSblog.
In 2013, Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer asked the Gresham, Oregon, bakery to sell them a cake for their upcoming commitment ceremony.
Based on her ‘deeply held religious beliefs,’ Melissa Klein refused to sell the couple a cake saying same-sex marriage was not consistent with her religious beliefs.
It’s worth underscoring that the Bowman-Cryers weren’t asking for a wedding cake, or holding any kind of religious ceremony, as marriage equality hadn’t been adopted by Oregon at the time.
Also, the state of Oregon’s public accommodation laws clearly prohibit any discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The lesbian couple filed a complaint with the state’s Bureau of Labor & Industries which found the bakery had, indeed, violated the state’s laws.
The Kleins appealed the decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals, but the Bureau’s decision was upheld.
The bakers then asked the Oregon Supreme Court to review the decision, but the state’s high court refused that request earlier this year.
It’s worth noting that this summer’s ruling regarding the Colorado baker was a win for Phillips only in that the Supreme Court felt the Colorado administrative agency that initially ruled against him appeared to be “too hostile” to Phillips’ religious beliefs. The Supreme Court never actually ruled on whether religious beliefs trump public accommodation laws.
The Supreme Court has several options regarding the petition for review.
In order to accept the case, at least four justices must vote to do so.
The court could decline the review completely, or decline to review but vacate the earlier rulings in Oregon remanding the case back to the earlier courts to review their decision.
That’s the route the high court took in June of this year regarding an anti-LGBT florist in Washington state, Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers.
According to SCOTUSblog, the state of Oregon now has 30 days to respond to the filing although a 30 extension is possible.
Should the Supreme Court choose to review the case, after oral arguments a decision would come down sometime before the end of June 2019.
• Paleontologist & athlete Francesc Gascó is serving serious buff and beard (above).
• Anti-LGBT bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, who owned and operated Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon, are still trying to get out of paying their $135,000 fine for refusing to sell a lesbian couple a wedding cake even though a crowd-funding campaign gave them a $500,000 windfall. #MakingMoneyOnHate
• Some folks didn’t appreciate out Olympian Adam Rippon’s leather harness-styled tux at the Oscars, but he says it made him feel “cool AF.” I thought he rocked it.
I think fashion is all about self expression and I chose to wear what I wore on the red carpet because I felt cool AF. Everyone should take risks, be bold, and not give a 💩. It’s LOTS of fun. Huge thanks to my team for dressing me and make me feel like a sexy MF. pic.twitter.com/gimDFyJPYd
• Menswear ads in the Netherlands featuring male couples kissing are being vandalized. Who knew there were such haters in the Netherlands?
• Gus Kenworthy (looking totally swoon-worthy) penned a clever Instagram post in the style of a “missed connections” ad after he and bf Matt Wilkas chatted up superstar Ricky Martin and his husband Jwan Yosef at the Vanity Fair Oscar party.
You may recall back in February of 2013, Melissa and Aaron Klein as owners of Sweet Cakes bakery in Oregon refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple.
The customers who were turned away, Rachel Bowman-Cryer and her wife, Laurel, filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries saying they had been the victims of discrimination based on sexual orientation which is clearly against the state’s public accommodation laws.
The Bureau of Labor and Industries agreed and fined the Sweet Cakes owners $135,000 for emotional damages suffered.
The Kleins took their case to the Oregon Court of Appeals and lost again as the appeals court agreed with the Bureau’s determination.
Now, the Kleins have asked the Oregon State Supreme Court to to overturn the lower court rulings.
The Kleins have paid the fine of $135,000 but it’s been held in a state escrow account until all appeal options have been exhausted.
While the Kleins have cried poor in the aftermath of their anti-LGBT bigotry being exposed, it’s quite noteworthy that a “Christian” crowdfunding campaign by fellow haters raised over $500,000 in support of the Kleins.
You can see the stories chronicling their windfall here and here.
So the couple has actually made money in this little escapade.
It’s time to leave it alone, Kleins. You broke the state’s public accommodation law, you make a butt load of money through the whole debacle.
• These shirtless guys working out in the snow has to be seen to be believed. Titled “Twisted Snow” in a post by Powerlifting Motivation, the video features “powerlifting” with dry humping in the falling snow. I think some folks will find this just a bit amusing 🙂
Melissa and Aaron Klein, the former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, stepped back into the spotlight this week when they sent what appeared to be “apology” packages to 10 LGBT groups comprised of a cake with the message “We Really Do Love You!” and a copy of the anti-gay movie Audacity.
You’ll recall the Kleins refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding and ended up being fined $135K for violating Oregon’s public accommodation laws. They eventually closed their bakery when the story became public and sales dried up.
However, the incident became a windfall for the couple as anti-gay supporters raised over $350K in donations for the couple via crowd funding.
Melissa Klein gave this statement to the Oregonian about the “apology” packages:
“Our purpose is to express our love for them as a Christian.
“We don’t hate them. We also included in the package the movie Audacity. I feel it is a well done movie that shows what being a Christian is about. My hope is that they will watch it and maybe just understand our heart. We want to show them that it’s not about not serving them it’s about not being able to partake in an event.”
The idea for the “apology” packages apparently came from San Diego Gay and Lesbian News reports televangelist Ray Comfort, who produced Audacity.
According to Comfort, “We are like doctors with a cure for cancer.”
San Diego’s Canvass for a Cause was one of ten LGBT organizations to receive a cake, but the group decided to place the package on auction via eBay.
“This is not an ’I am sorry cake,’” says Cavass director Cathy Carmack. “There is no apology included with the cake because the Kleins are not sorry. ”
Melissa and Aaron Klein of “Sweet Cakes by Melissa”
So it turns out, for the second time this year, if you go public with your anti-gay animus you can clean up financially with crowd-sourcing campaigns.
The owners of Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, were found guilty of violating state public accommodation laws and fined $135,000.
But don’t worry about owners Aaron and Melissa Klein – they won’t feel the pinch even a little bit with that fine. Anti-gay haters across the country pitched in to contribute a whopping $355,500 to the Kleins via a campaign at Continue To Give.
This is after GoFundMe closed an earlier campaign that raised over $110,000 – WHICH the anti-gay bakers get to keep.
So, all in all, for discriminating against a same-sex wedding, the Kleins rake in over $462,000; more than triple the fine.
When it was announced last week that the Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa was looking at fines of $135K for breaking public accommodation laws in regard to refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, anti-gay activists took to GoFundMe to collect money from strangers to pay the fine.
In a matter of hours, $114K was raised. But then GoFundMe pulled the campaign saying the site could not be used to support those charged with breaking the law.
Today we’re updating our terms to help address some confusion around how GoFundMe goes about reviewing campaigns and deciding what will be permitted on our platform.
Specifically, we would like to clarify that GoFundMe relies on information from law enforcement and government agencies to help determine what actions our team will take regarding questionable campaigns. We would also like to acknowledge that while we cannot conduct in-depth investigations on every campaign that is created, we do reserve the right to act on pertinent information as it becomes available to us.
GoFundMe will not allow campaigns that benefit individuals or groups facing formal charges or claims of serious violations of the law. The amended term can be found under the ‘What’s Not Allowed’ section of our terms, as well as below:
Campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts
We are also informing users that GoFundMe reserves the right to share the content from a deleted campaign with law enforcement, donors or stated beneficiaries who wish to file a police report about any misuse of fundraising proceeds. The added language can be found below:
By using GoFundMe, Users are representing and warranting that all donations received are being given and being used solely for the purpose(s) stated within the content of the User’s campaign. We reserve the right to provide information relating to your campaign with donors and beneficiaries of your campaign, and with law enforcement or to assist in any investigation.
Bolding is mine.
GoFundMe did announce last week that although the Sweet Cakes campaign came down, the donated funds up to that point would still go to the anti-gay bakers.
I wrote yesterday about the anti-gay Oregon bakers at Sweet Cakes by Melissa who are looking at a $135,000 fine for breaking public accommodation laws by not serving a lesbian couple.
The bakers took to GoFundMe to raise money from strangers to pay for their lawbreaking habits.
Within hours the campaign raised $110,000 but was halted by GoFundMe because raising money for breaking the law is against the Terms and Conditions of the website:
“After careful review by our team, we have found the “Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa” campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions. The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal. While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live. However, the subjects of the “Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa” campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”