Melissa and Aaron Klein

Tony Perkins is a liar. Raising money dishonestly makes him a thief as well. Aaron and and is Melissa Klein, owners of sweet cakes by Melissa, are liars as well if they are complicit in Perkins’ dishonest fund raising.

Tony Perkins is the leader of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council. The Kleins are the Oregon bakers who think that baking a cake is some sort of holy sacrament. More likely they wanted to demonstrate their disapproval of gay people so they turned away a lesbian couple seeking a wedding cake. They were fined $135,000 and in February, 2015 they lost on appeal.

According to an article in the Oregonian dated Decmber 28, 2015:

Aaron Klein, co-owner of the shuttered Sweet Cakes by Melissa, walked
into the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries’ Portland office and
handed over a check for $136,927.07, an amount including accrued
interest, agency spokesman Charlie Burr said.

Email Saturday from Family Research Council signed by Tony Perkins:

This brave family needs your encouragement now.

I’m referring to Aaron and Melissa Klein—your brother and sister in Christ—and their five children.

The Kleins have lost virtually everything—their business and much of their life savings—because they would not compromise their faith.

Vindictive government officials penalized them $135,000 . . . raided their personal bank accounts . . . and ordered them to stop expressing biblical truth.

Later on, regarding the alleged account raiding:

Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries emptied the Kleins’ checking and savings account, even confiscating a special account set aside for their church tithe!

“It was like my breath was taken away,” Melissa told FOX News columnist, Todd Starnes. “I panicked. Everything was gone.”

First of all, they chose to move their business into their home. 

  • Secondly, they raised a substantial amount of money through crowd funding. I am reliably informed that they raised more than the fine. 
  • Thirdly, nobody raided their personal bank accounts as you can see from the quote, above. If, in fact, Ms. Klein told that to Todd Starnes regarding the payment of the fine (you never really know with him) then she is a liar.
  • Fourthly, to suggest vindictiveness is preposterous hyperbole. Officials followed the law. Perkins is always demonstrating his flag-waving patriotism (nationalism really). Good citizens have respect for the law.
  • And, finally, no one told them anything of the sort. They can post a sign, if they like, saying that they disapprove of same-sex marriages. They can express anything that they choose. However they have to serve all comers according to Oregon Law. This is settled law and has been for some time (Employment Division v. Smith). In a rare moment of sanity Scalia, writing for the majority, outlined the utter absurdity of religious exemptions to otherwise valid law.

Later on Perkins continues with:

The Kleins owned a small bakery in Gresham, Oregon, called Sweet Cakes by Melissa. When two regular customers wanted Melissa to bake them a cake that celebrated their same-sex wedding, the Kleins politely, and kindly, refused as a matter of religious conscience.

You see, to Melissa, a wedding is a sacred event. She felt that she could not participate in a ceremony that made a mockery of God’s design for marriage.

There is no way to “politely and kindly” refuse service. We have seen this movie before. There was a time when these same Christians “politely” told Jewish patrons: “I am sorry sir but this hotel is restricted. Would you like me to find other accommodations for you?”

Moreover, a wedding might be a “sacred event” but baking a fucking cake is not a holy sacrament. Another pair of narcissists who think that they are supremely important. Later on:

THREATS, PERSECUTION, AND RUIN. Radical activists got the word out, and Sweet Cakes by Melissa was hit with boycotts, street protests, harassment, death threats, and a loss of business.
Combined with the penalties, the Kleins’ family business was destroyed.
Their former shop, with all its happy memories, sits empty.

It seems that we are always “radical activists” for not tolerating illegal discrimination. If the Kleins’ arrogance (and that is what it is) results in people not patronizing their store, who is responsible for that? What they did was stupid. Baking a cake connotes nothing more than baking a cake. When they realized how upset their potential customer was they could have made things right and stopped this freight train in its tracks. What did they do? They signed on with Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF insists (in spite of numerous adverse court losses) that Christians have a First Amendment right to discriminate. They do not!

Perkins isn’t done with this turkey:

that correctly. The Commissioner of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and
Industries, Brad Avakian says his goal isn’t to ruin the Kleins, but to
“rehabilitate” their politically incorrect views on sexuality and
marriage: In other words, essentially attempting to brainwash them away from maintaining their illegal Christian beliefs.

That’s another outright lie.  The state’s interest is to help them run their business without running afoul of the law. Perkins would like people to infer that Oregon is North Korea. The idea is to educate business owners on what constitutes impermissible behavior. The Kleins are free to believe whatever they want to believe. Again, the issue is not what they believe. If one chooses to run a public accommodation then one is compelled to understand and obey applicable laws.

All of the taxpayers pay for the roads and infrastructure that brings people to a business. All of the taxpayers pay for police and fire departments that keep the business safe.  Tony Perkins and the Kleins don’t seem to get that.

By the way, the email asks one to send a note of encouragement to the Kleins. It is a way of expanding FRC’s email list. Once you have done that you are asked to donate money to FRC. What a shock.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.