Thought crimes vs. the First Amendment in Oregon (via The Blaze)
(KGW) The Oregon Department of Justice is looking into a complaint that a Gresham bakery refused to make a wedding cake for a same sex marriage.
It started on Jan. 17 when a mother and daughter showed up at Sweet Cakes by Melissa looking for the perfect wedding cake.
“My first question is what’s the wedding date,” said owner Aaron Klein. “My next question is bride and groom’s name … the girl giggled a little bit and said it’s two brides.”
Klein apologized to the women and told them he and his wife do not make cakes for same-sex marriages. Klein said the women were disgusted and walked out.
“I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God,” said Klein. “A man should leave his mother and father and cling to his wife … that to me is the beginning of marriage.”
The charge would be for discrimination in a public place under ORS 659a.403. Looking at the entire portion of ORS 659a, civil penalites can be assessed at up to $1,000 (659a.855). The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries can also forced the defendant to cease and desist. Furthermore, the defendant isn’t entitled to a trial by jury in front of his/her peers, but instead must face a tribunal of Bureau of Labor employees.
Obviously, Klein is receiving lots and lots of hate mail and abuse for his stance (which, in fairness, is the right of people who are upset), but it is the notion of a thought crime versus freedom of religion that is the problem. The Government attempting to harm an individual for simply refusing to make a wedding cake because of his religious beliefs. It’s not like there aren’t lots of other bakers.
Oh, wait, I forgot, he didn’t build that business, so The Government can tell him how to operate at every step.