Sweet Cakes by Melissa owners refuse to pay damages in wedding cake for gay couple case

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The owners of a Portland-area bakery are refusing to pay $135,000 in state-ordered damages to a same-sex couple who were refused service.

Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, cited religious beliefs when they refused to bake a wedding cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer more than two years ago.

Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian awarded the damages in July for emotional suffering, saying the owners had violated the women’s rights by discriminating on the basis of their sexual orientation.

The Kleins have filed an appeal of the ruling and are defying the order to pay. They’re claiming financial hardship although crowdfunding efforts have brought in over $500,000 on their behalf.

The Oregonian reports state officials have asked to place a lien on the Kleins’ property or other assets.

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