The Heritage Foundation says Aaron and Melissa Klein – for their sake and for the sake of others around the U.S. – need to continue to push back against the punishment imposed on them for simply living out their Christian faith.
The Oregon couple operated "Sweet Cakes by Melissa," but when they declined to bake a cake for a homosexual "wedding" a complaint was filed before the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Last week, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian finalized a fine of $135,000 against the Kleins – but the order goes even further with a "cease and desist" order.
Heritage Foundation spokesman Hans von Spakovsky explains:
"They are being told that they can't make any communication about their beliefs about sexual orientation in public accommodations that could in any way give anyone the indication that they might discriminate against them in their bakery business," he states. "So that makes it pretty difficult [for them] to talk about their religious beliefs."
Von Spakovsky says considering constitutional protections, Americans and the country itself cannot afford to let the decision stand – one that is essentially a gag order.
"This would be a horrible precedent," he says of the decision. "It's one that would be used and will be used in many different places around the country if the Kleins don't fight and get this overturned."
"I don't believe that a man who sits in an office like that has the authority to do that. The Constitution has given me freedom of speech, and I'm going to stand behind what the Constitution has to say. I think that every American should be very afraid when a public official seems to think that they have the right to strip them of any of their constitutional freedoms. We need to very outspoken about that."
on "Washington Watch"
July 6, 2015
The Kleins have indicated they plan to do just that. "This [decision] effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights," they state on their Facebook page. "According to the state of Oregon, we have neither freedom of religion or freedom of speech."
According to reports, they will request a stay on the fine in an effort to delay the order and will being the appeals process.
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Oregon declares war on Christian faith