State says Gresham bakery violated civil rights of same-sex couple

State says Gresham bakery violated civil rights of same-sex couple

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by Evan Sernoffsky, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 18 at 11:31 AM

GRESHAM, Ore. – The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled a Gresham bakery discriminated against a same-sex couple when it refused to make a cake for their wedding.

The couple filed a complaint against Sweet Cakes by Melissa last year. The bakery's owners said they wouldn't sell the couple a wedding cake because it violated their religious beliefs.

More: Couple denied same-sex cake files complaint

The state ruled a bakery is not a religious institution, so refusing the order violated Oregon’s Equality Act passed in 2007.

In September, the bakery shut its doors and said via a Facebook post it was moving the business to an in-home bakery.

Background: Gresham bakery that denied same-sex wedding cake closes

BOLI will now work with both sides to see if they can reach a settlement.

On Friday, the bakery posted a new statement on its Facebook page regarding the ruling.

"We received papers from BOLI yesterday and they have made their decision that we have apparently discriminated," the statement reads in part. "Please continue to pray for our family. God is great, amazing and all powerful. I know He has a plan." 

Later Friday night the owners issued a statement to KGW.

"At this point in time all we have to say is we expected this outcome as Brad Avakian made it clear with his statements at the beginning of this investigation. We plan to fight this and we maintain that the constitution protects our religious rights. And we are well within our rights to decline to be involved with a ceremony that goes against our religious beliefs."

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