Baker Investigated for Refusing Gay Wedding Cake

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An Oregon baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same sex couple is now the target of an investigation by the state attorney general.

A complaint against the co-owner of Sweet Cakes Bakery in the Portland suburb of Gresham prompted the investigation by the state attorney general's office.

The incident began last month when a young woman came in and ordered a cake for a same sex wedding.

"She, being the girl, giggled a little bit and said, 'It's two brides.' At that point, I stopped what I was doing, I looked at them, and I said, 'I'm sorry, I may have wasted your time. We don't do same sex marriages," Aaron Klein, the baker under investigation, said.

The complaint charges that Klein called them "an abomination."

"I never told anybody they were an abomination," Klein said.

An Oregon statue states that "any place or service offering to the public accommodations must provide full accommodations without any distinction on account of race, color, religion, sex, or sexual orientation."

But Klein said he's protected by a higher law.

"First Amendment, Constitution. Freedom of religion. I'm free to exercise my religion however I see fit," he said.

He also said he should not be compelled to violate his conscience.

"If I'm told to make a wedding cake for a same sex marriage, I feel that I'm violating my beliefs. I don't think I should have to do that," Klein said.

"I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God," Klein said. "A man should leave his mother and father and cling to his wife … that to me is the beginning of marriage."

"I'd rather have my kids see their dad stand up for what he believes in than to see him bow down because one person complained," he said.

Portland attorney Paula Barran said it's a dilemma.

"You want to have a society that is accepting of all people, but also want a society that understands that people's faith matters to them as well," she said. "I don't think in a situation like this there is a perfect solution. I think this is a very difficult case."

The controversy has been a big boost to the bakery sales. Although he's received some angry emails and has been called a bigot among other things, Klein said he's had a lot of support.

"I'd rather stand up for what I believe in and what I feel is right and get totally annihilated when it comes in the end than to bow down to this and say go ahead," he said. "Because that sets the standard for the next one, the next one, and the next one."

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.