Sep 2, 2013 Comments Off Niki Monroe
Excerpted from OregonLive.Com A Gresham bakery that sparked controversy earlier this year by refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple closed up shop this weekend.
Though Sweet Cakes by Melissa is closing its store, the business will continue as an at-home bakery for custom cakes, according to the company’s Facebook page.
Willamette Week reported earlier today that Saturday was the shop’s last day before the transition to an at-home business. The phone number will be changing, but cakes can still be ordered at [email protected], according to the Facebook page.
Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman of Portland filed a complaint with the state earlier this year after Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to bake a wedding cake for the couple, citing religious reasons.
Aaron Klein, co-owner of the bakery, previously told The Oregonian that he and wife Melissa sell to anyone regardless of sexual orientation but will not bake wedding cakes for a same-sex wedding because it goes against their Christian beliefs.
The complaint alleges that the bakery has violated Oregon laws that prohibit discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in employment and public accommodations.
Excerpted from THE BLAZE: In May, TheBlaze told you about Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, an Oregon-based bakery that has fallen under intense scrutiny. Throughout 2013, the Christian couple and their business have been in the midst of a media firestorm after refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.
From threats to vicious phone calls and e-mails, the Klein family has been inundated with angry responses. Now, Aaron and Melissa have announced that they are shutting down their shop.
In a brief phone interview earlier this month, Melissa told TheBlaze that the couple has continued to face upheaval following their faith-based decision. Just days after we spoke, she and her husband announced that this past weekend was the family’s last at its current location.
The business will be transitioning, with the Kleins operating, instead, from their home.
“This will be our last weekend at the shop we are moving our business to an in home bakery,” read a post on the company’s Facebook page on Aug. 30.On the same Facebook page just few days earlier, the family shared appreciation for the support the owners received in the wake of media coverage surrounding their cake-baking battle.
“Thank you again everyone for your up lifting words, and encouragement! It is much appreciated,” one message read.
It’s no secret that Sweet Cakes by Melissa has been struggling since Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, the lesbian couple at the center of the debate, waged a complaint with the state over the cake debacle. In May, the bakers told TheBlaze that they were inundated with hateful messages.
From proclamations that Aaron should be shot to one apparent threat that he be raped, the hate and angst being thrown the Klein family’s way is certainly serious in nature. Some have even wished for the couple’s five children to be stricken with illness. Earlier this summer, Aaron and Melissa shared a number of these e-mails with TheBlaze.“You stupid bible-thumping, hypocritical b**ch. I hope your kids get really, really, sick and you go out of business,” read one e-mail.
“Here’s hoping you go out of business, you bigot. Enjoy hell,” read another.
At the time, they told TheBlaze that their wedding vendors “badgered and harassed” until they refused to do business with Sweet Cakes by Melissa. As a result, the business’ wedding cake orders this summer were down dramatically from the past. Plus, some individuals canceled their previously-planned cakes in the wake of the controversy.
You can read TheBlaze’s previous report about Sweet Cakes by Melissa to learn more about the debate — one that has potentially played a role in the closure of the baker’s shop in Gresham, Ore.