Today, First Liberty Institute and former White House Counsel Boyden Gray filed a brief with the Oregon Court of Appeals on behalf of Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Oregon bakers punished by Oregon officials when the couple declined to customize a wedding cake celebrating same-sex marriage, in a case that could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Kleins’ attorneys argue that the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian (currently a Democratic candidate for Oregon secretary of state) violated Aaron’s and Melissa’s First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
As Breitbart News reported, First Liberty and Gray assert that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment does not allow the government to punish an American citizen for declining to express a view on same-sex marriage that contradicts that citizen’s religious beliefs, and the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause entitles every American to peaceably live out their faith in their daily lives, including running their own private business in a manner that they believe honors God and demonstrates biblical truth to their community.
Aaron and Melissa had previously served homosexual customers without incident, never denying a product or service to anyone on account of sexual orientation. Additionally, the Kleins have declined to design customized cakes in the past for events such as bachelor parties and “divorce parties,” including when the customer simply wanted a cake shaped like certain body parts, or including provocative content. The Kleins have consistently run their business according to their Christian faith and declined to convey any message that they believed did not honor God or reflect