OREGON: Hearing Officer Suggests $135K Fine For Anti-Gay Bakery Couple
The lesbian couple turned away by a Gresham bakery that refused to make them a wedding cake for religious reasons should receive $135,000 in damages for their emotional suffering, a state hearings officer says. Rachel Bowman-Cryer should collect $75,000 and her wife, Laurel Bowman-Cryer, $60,000 from the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, an administrative law judge for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said in a proposed order released Friday, April 24. Bureau prosecutors sought $75,000 for each woman -- $150,000 total -- during a hearing on damages in March. The amounts recommended by law judge Alan McCullough, coming after four days of testimony, are not final. State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian has the final authority to raise, lower or leave the proposed damages as is.Tony Perkins is going apeshit:
An Oregon judge made clear in no uncertain terms to the Kleins and all Oregonians that the state has the right to demand that citizens engage in activities that violate their beliefs and if they refuse, they will lose their ability to make a living. In a free country, this is a ruling that cannot and must not stand. In the State of Oregon's view, the Kleins need to be 'rehabilitated' and 'reeducated' - terms actually used by the Oregon Attorney General - regarding their religious views on the nature of marriage. Needless to say, government re-education regimes are more reminiscent of fascism than democracy. A government able to bankrupt people for standing by their deepest beliefs is a government of unbridled power and a threat to everyone's freedom. Our prayer and hope is that these fines will be overturned by a judge who remains committed to constitutional freedoms and that individual liberty will triumph over intrusive over reaching government. The heavy hand of the state must not be used to punish and fine people for merely seeking to live according to their beliefs.The couple has already launched a GoFundMe page.