At Heritage Foundation’s blog, Kelsey Harkness writes: “Oregon bakers continue legal fight, challenging ‘gag order.’” That would be Aaron and Melissa Klein. There is no gag order and there never has been, notwithstanding any claims from the Kleins’ nutty attorney, Kelly Shakelford.
Before I get into this, among other things Aaron Klein told the women he refused to service that their children were an abomination. He went on to quote Leviticus. Mr. Klein is a self-righteous, vicious little prick who deserves both the opprobrium and the legal penalties for his awful conduct. Just another idiot willing to drink the Kool-Aid on command.
Shakelford, head of Liberty Institute, is not exactly the most truthful Christian on the planet. This issue is no exception. According to the Heritage piece:
“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication … to the effect that any of the accommodations…will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” Avakian wrote in thefinal order.
Allow me to fill in the ellipses highlighted in yellow with underlined text. It should read to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, service or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused. It does add some context. Moreover, it mirrors existing Oregon law word for word. It is included in the order as a means of informing the Kleins of what the law is.
Posting a sign or circulating advertising that says “No Kikes allowed” (the discussion employs an offensive racial reference which I don’t get to use) is de facto discrimination. It is the same as refusing service.
The justification for this part of his final order originates from an interview Aaron and Melissa Klein participated in with Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in 2014. During the interview, Aaron said that they, “don’t do same-sex weddings,” and “This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong.”
Wrong. The justification is existing Oregon law. The Kleins retain every right to say that they disapprove of same sex marriage. The Kleins retain every right to air their religious beliefs. They can even post a sign that they do not approve of same-sex marriage. People who are offended by that sign will take their business elsewhere. We won’t bother them any further.
The case has now been appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals. Reading through the brief it is the usual violation of Free Speech and Free Exercise claims. The Supreme Court has been clear that there are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid law. More recently they refused to hear a very similar case where a photographer refused to service a same-sex commitment ceremony and that was when Scalia was still among the living. It is a case that they strangely cite in their brief. Then there is this (from the unbrief brief):
BOLI determined its Commissioner could adjudicate this case
notwithstanding public statements, made before development of the factual
record or presentation of legal argument, to the effect that the Kleins had
violated Oregon law and should not be exempted from its enforcement.
What they are claiming is that the Commissioner prejudged the case. Yet, the facts have never been in dispute. Klein went around posting to social media and doing interviews. The claim wasn’t that they did not discriminate. Rather, it was that they should be permitted to discriminate based on their religious beliefs.
My guess is that the Kleins will lose their appeal. Next.