Americans who choose to live their lives according to conservative Christian values continue to pay a political and social price for it even as gay marriage enjoys unprecedented acceptance.
An Oregon bakery that in January of 2013 refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding is only the latest casualty in the culture war over same-sex marriage — a war that Christians are clearly losing.
Much like the owners of Memories Pizza experienced when a clerk merely answered a hypothetical question about catering to a SSM, Sweet Cakes by Melissa received death threats and rape threats following its decision not to bake a wedding cake for the lesbian couple.
According to The Blaze, which saw some of the hate mail received by the bakers, one read: ‘You stupid bible-thumping, hypocritical b**ch. I hope your kids get really, really, sick and you go out of business,’ and another said: ‘Here’s hoping you go out of business, you bigot. Enjoy hell.’
The couple told the news service their customers had been ‘badgered and harassed’ not to do business with the bakery and subsequently, orders for wedding cakes this summer were significantly lower than usual.
Some clients even cancelled existing orders because of the public debacle, the Blaze said.
An Oregon administrative law judge recommended Friday that Sweet Cakes by Melissa be fined $135,000 in damages for the emotional suffering of the lesbian couple.
“[T]he forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000, are appropriate awards to compensate [the same-sex couple] for the emotional suffering they experienced,” wrote Alan McCullough, administrative law judge for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries in his proposed order.
The town of Gresham, Oregon, incidentally, has a population of over 100,000 and has many good bakeries to choose from.
Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, however, claimed they felt “mentally raped” when they were denied a wedding cake by one bakery, and listed 88 symptoms of emotional distress that they suffered.
Examples of symptoms include “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “excessive sleep,” “felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “pale and sick at home after work,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”
Given the 88 symptoms of emotional distress these ladies felt, it is clear that it had never occurred to either one of them that not everyone they may encounter in life is as thrilled about same sex marriage as they are. They had apparently gone through their entire adult lives unaware of the fact that there are people out there who have political and/or religious views on marriage that differ from their own. So it was a cruel shock to their poor, delicate systems when they came face to face with the abominable Kleins and their unfashionable opinions.
The Kleins said, “No, we’d rather not bake a cake for something we find morally objectionable.” Which is pretty harsh, but perhaps not as harsh as “you stupid bible-thumping, hypocritical b**ch” and “enjoy hell.”
Because the family has already shuttered the business, the fines will have to be paid from them personally and could potentially bankrupt the family. Talk about “emotional distress.”
The website GoFundMe said in a statement Saturday that it took down the page because the campaign violated the policy against raising money “in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”
“The campaign entitled ‘Sweet Cakes by Melissa‘ involves formal charges. As such, our team has determined that it was in violation of GoFundMe’s Terms & Conditions,” said GoFundMe in an email statement.
“The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal,” said GoFundMe.
“Lisa Watson of Cupcake Jones started her own campaign to contact GoFundMe and report the campaign as being in violation of their terms of service,” said the website GoLocalPDX in a Saturday post.
“Watson’s own post on Facebook stated, ‘this business has been found GUILTY OF DISCRIMINATION and is being allowed to fundraise to pay their penalty. The gofundme terms of service address hate speech, bigotry, criminal activity, and sexism among other things in their campaign … The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting,’” said the website.
In a Saturday post on her Facebook page, Ms. Watson said, “I can’t believe we just did that,” while Brent J. Blackwell commented, “I complained three times and got my family in on it too!”
“Seriously in tears! Good work Watson and everyone who spoke up!” said Ryan Wayman in a comment on her page.
Those were tears of *joy* Ryan was feeling because the internet outrage mob he was part of had denied the Kleins a means to pay their fine and avoid financial ruin. The couple, who have five children, have been struggling to make ends meet ever since they had to close their shop due to the controversy.
Meanwhile, RedState reported that GoFundMe “has no problem raising money for legal funds, as long as it’s not for Christians.”
Aldo Alvarez was charged with burglary with assault and battery on a law enforcement officer after allegedly attacking Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy Joshua McGehee. McGeheee shot Alvarez, and GoFundMe hasn’t taken down Alvarez’s account.
Neither have they taken down the hundreds of legal defense fund accounts, many of the beneficiaries of which face “formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”
Nope, only the Kleins, who are accused of violating the Gaystapo’s “made to care” rules, have been stripped of their GoFundMe account.
Fortunately, Rev. Franklin Graham’s Christian humanitarian organization, Samaritan’s Purse, stepped in to help the Kleins raise money.
“They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone,” Graham said. “I believe that Christians across our nation will rally around Aaron and Melissa and their five children.
“Please pray for Aaron and Melissa, and pray for our nation. When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that’s persecution, plain and simple.”