Sound Off for February 4th: Oregon baker refuses service to gay couple. Discrimination or freedom of religion?
A Gresham, Oregon baker is the subject of a state investigation after he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Did Sweet Cakes owner Aaron Klein violate the law when he told the couple that he couldn't sell them a cake because "they were abominations to the Lord?"
That's what Oregon Attorney General's civil enforcement officers are looking into after one of the brides-to-be filed a complaint on Jan. 28.
Aaron Klein says he refused service to a same sex couple last month, "I said unfortunately I believe in what the bible says and that's how I feel about it"
Last week, he received a letter from the state asking for his side of the story after the couple complained.
Under state statute, "any place or service offering to the public accommodations must provide "full and equal accommodations... without any distinction on account of race, color, religion, sex, *or *sexual *orientation.
Portland attorney Paula Barran says while this case might violate state law, Klein could argue he's protected under the constitution's First Amendment, freedom to practice religion. "You want to have a society that is accepting of all people, but also want a society that understands that people's faith matters to them as well. I don't think in a situation like this there is a perfect solution- I think this is a very very difficult case."
And it could help set a precedent for the future.
The couple who complained about the business has hired a lawyer and aren't commenting.
The Attorney General's office is investigating this case now and the Bureau of Labor and Industries may get involved in the future.
What do you think about this case? Did he violate the law or was he within his rights under the First Amendment?
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