Gresham bakery that denied same-sex wedding cake closes

Gresham bakery that denied same-sex wedding cake closes

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by Evan Sernoffsky, kgw.com staff

kgw.com

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 6:36 PM

GRESHAM, Ore. – A Gresham bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, prompting a state investigation, shut its doors.

On Sunday, KGW stopped by Sweet Cakes by Melissa and found the bakery completely empty. All counter tops, display cases and decorations were gone.

Hanging in the window was a sign from the Oregon Family Council that read "Religious freedom is under attack in Gresham."

As first reported in Willamette Week, Sweet Cakes by Melissa posted on its Facebook page, “This will be our last weekend at the shop we are moving our business to an in home bakery. I will post our new number soon.”

In January, Laurel Bowman said Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to sell her a cake after learning it would be for a same-sex wedding.

More: Gresham same-sex cake order stirs debate

In August, the Bureau of Labor and Industries said it was conducting an investigation to determine if the bakery violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which protects the rights of LGBT Oregonians.

More: Couple denied same-sex cake files complaint

Aaron Klein, one of the owners of the "Sweet Cakes by Melissa,” refused to sell the cake to one of the brides-to-be because he said marriage should be only between a man and a woman.

Bowman later filed a complaint with the justice department, which Klein’s attorney Herbert Grey responded to. In his letter, Grey says the couple "elected not to participate in an event that is not even officially recognized under Oregon law when doing so would violate their constitutionally-protected conscience and religious beliefs."

All of the comments on the bakery's Facebook page are largely supportive of the business.

“I'm sorry to hear this. Its very frustrating to have people do all they can to cause others strife just because they don't agree with a lifestyle. I will keep you all in my prayers. Don't let them get you down. You will survive this and all other tests through your faith. God bless Melissa,” one woman writes.

Willamette Week, however, noted several negative comments on Sweet Cakes’ Facebook page have been taken down.

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