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The owners of a mom-and-pop bakery who faced death threats and boycotts after they declined to participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony won a partial victory at the U.S. Supreme Court.
But the ultimate battle — whether Christian business owners must be forced to violate their deeply held religious beliefs — remains unsettled. I write about this important issue facing Christians in my new book: “Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation.” Click here to pre-order.
Justices announced today they would not hear the case of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, but they did reverse a decision by the state of Oregon against the owners – devout Christians Aaron and Melissa Klein.
The Kleins were fined $135,000 for refusing to create a government-approved message on a wedding cake. That fine ultimately led the family to shut down their business.
“This is a victory for Aaron and Melissa Klein and for religious liberty for all Americans,” said First Liberty Institute president Kelly Shackelford. “The Constitution protects speech, popular or not, from condemnation by the government. The message from the Court is clear, government hostility toward religious Americans will not be tolerated.”
The State of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) found that the Kleins had had violated Oregon’s public accommodations statute after Aaron and Melissa declined to design and create wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage. In addition to the $135,000 penalty for “emotional damages,”
The Supreme Court justices referenced their previous ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case where government officials were told they cannot be hostile to the free exercise of the religious beliefs of its citizens.
The case against the Kleins was sent back to the Oregon courts for further review.