My first reaction to this story was that the bakers were overreacting and being overly religious to turn back a lesbian couple who requested a cake from them.
Better to build bridges and be friendly, give a good witness as Christians and show unconditional love than to make a stand against lesbian relationships of people who are unsaved.
But there are other factors. This report from the Christian Post US.
Gay Advocates Get Their Way as Christian Bakers Who Refused to Bake Cake for Lesbian Couple Forced to Close Shop
Under attack from gay rights advocates for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple because of their beliefs, a Christian couple in Gresham, Ore., was finally forced to shut down their store, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, this weekend.
According to a report in the Williamette Week, an Aug. 30 entry on Sweet Cakes’ now defunct Facebook page said, “This will be our last weekend at the shop we are moving our business to an in home bakery. I will post our new number soon. Email will stay the same email@example.com.”
The Christian Post reached out to Sweet Cakes By Melissa for comment by phone on Monday morning but no one was available and a mailbox set-up by the company was full.
Earlier this year the bakery came under fire from gay rights advocates after the lesbians claimed that Sweet Cakes by Melissa owner Aaron Klein told them “they were abominations to the Lord” when he refused to fill their order.
Klein, however, said he only: “apologized for wasting their time and said we don’t do same-sex marriages… (I) honestly did not mean to hurt anybody, didn’t mean to make anybody upset, (it’s) just something I believe in very strongly.”
By June, however, gay rights advocates ramped up their attacks on Aaron Klein and his wife, Melissa, and called for their business to be shut down.
“You stupid bible thumping, hypocritical b****. I hope your kids get really, really, sick and you go out of business,” noted the advocates in one vulgar email.
The couple claimed the advocates aggressively “badgered and harassed” some of their clients until they no longer wanted to do business with their bakery.
“My attorney likens this — he calls it economic terrorism,” Aaron Klein had said in June. “These people, they have literally tried to cut any business ties off through harassment.”
And last Saturday gay rights advocates ran them out of their store but the couple doesn’t appear to be giving up.
A note posted on the door of the shuttered bakery on Sunday read: “This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong. Your Religious Freedom is becoming not Free anymore. This is ridiculous that we cannot practice our faith. The LORD is good and we will continue to serve Him with all our heart. ♥”
Oregon’s state Bureau of Labor and Industries is currently conducting an investigation to determine if the Christian bakers violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007.
The act states that people cannot be denied service based on sexual orientation. Exemptions are allowed for schools and religious groups, but not for private businesses, according to the organization.
Two things, here.
First, although the article doesn’t mention it, the request was for a wedding cake for a lesbian marriage.
Now I know that this is a controversial issue and the majority of commenters on this site would consider that a non-issue. I’d end to agree.
However, for some very devout Evangelicals it is a major stumbling point. How do they approach such a request? Making a wedding cake, probably with two brides perched on top, would be an extraordinary challenge for many Christians.
I think they were over the top, all the same. They weren’t being asked to attend the wedding, or officiate. But there is a case for them to politely refuse, which, by all accounts, according to the baker, is what happened, but with dramatic results.
Second, though, and of equal importance, was the reaction of the gay community, which was harsh and unnecessary. Better to walk away and find a baker who would make the wedding cake than to force the closure of a shop because the owners are Christian and had an extreme perspective on whether they should produce the cake. It shows a high level of ungraciousness from the gay community.
There are many cake shops in the world, most of whom have no problem with producing an order. Why did these gay activists pursue these Christians until they were put out of business?
It seems that this divide is gathering momentum and not about to end soon.