Pro-family groups are reacting to a report quoting an Oregon government official who said a baker who believes in traditional marriage needs to be “rehabilitated.”
A lesbian couple filed a formal complaint against “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” in Portland after the owners – Aaron and Melissa Klein – declined on the basis of their Christian faith to provide services for a lesbian “wedding.” A report in a state newspaper says Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries plans to investigate if the business violated a 2007 state law that protects the rights of LGBT people in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
Reacting to that report, Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, tells OneNewsNow "the thought police are at it again, but now they've stepped it up to the next level.”
“We have been saying this all along: that they insist that people who embrace the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic abandon scriptural truth and adopt a worldly, secularist, postmodern view of sex and sexuality or else,” says Barber.
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The Oregonian quotes Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian as saying: "The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate."
Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, says in light of that comment Commissioner Avakian should resign immediately.
“To say that this couple needs to be ‘rehabilitated’ for believing and practicing the values on which this nation was founded is entirely beyond the pale,” says the pro-family leader.
“This sounds like Stalinist Russia or China under Mao, where those who thought for themselves were forced under government coercion into re-education camps. This is not the America that was given to us by our Founders.”
Barber says the “rehabilitation” remark connotes some kind of ailment, mental illness or physical ailment. “You know, we rehabilitate criminals,” he explains. “Are they saying that Christianity is criminal here and we have to rehabilitate those who embrace the Christian sexual ethic? That's what this official in Oregon is saying.”
Wildmon wonders what might follow if the bakery owners refuse to be “rehabilitated.”
“What happens if they maintain their faith and their values, and refuse to convert to political correctness?” he asks. “The next logical step would be for the government to shut down their business altogether, which would be an act of Nazi-esque tyranny.”
The Labor Commission’s investigation of the Kleins could lead to prosecution. Barber, a licensed attorney, expects an increase in such incidents because activists have been emboldened by the Supreme Court rulings striking down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.