Choose ‘God or Government’: Cake Shop Owners Discuss Their Forced Closure

Everton Bailey Jr./The Oregonian via AP
Everton Bailey Jr./The Oregonian via AP

Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein shared the shocking details of the same-sex wedding cake that closed their business with hosts Breitbart’s Executive News Chairman Stephen K. Bannon and Editor-in-chief Alexander Marlow of the SiriusXM Breitbart News Saturday radio program broadcast live at the Values Voters Summit.

January 17, 2013, a mother and daughter came into the Klein’s bakery to test some cake samples. During the course of the meeting, it was revealed that the daughter’s wedding was for two brides. Aaron told the listening audience that it was at this time that the mother and daughter were told simply that the bakery was not going to be able to provide the cake.

The daughter quickly left the store looking upset, according to the Kleins, and the mother left but minutes later told them that refusing to bake the cake was wrong. Aaron Klein then said that, after two weeks following the incident, he received a letter from the Department of Justice. The complaint he said, included entirely false claims.

Aaron continued, saying, “For instance, a girl and her mom show up, the complaint said there were two girls there asking for a wedding cake… supposedly they were thrown out of the shop, they were told their money was no good.” He continued, “They’ve recanted since.”

The “emotional damage awards” lodged against the Kleins is $135,000. Bannon asked how the fine was calculated. Melissa Klein stated that there were 178 things listed that were factored into the decision on the sum. “They felt ‘mentally raped,’” she noted as the most significant. Melissa noted that one woman responded to the story, saying that as a rape victim she was offended by the “mentally raped” claim.

Aaron said the State of Oregon handed the mother and daughter a list of 200 things that had been awarded damages in the past. The two claimants were told to mark those that they felt applied.

Melissa, who decorates all of the cakes for the shop, told the audience “I can’t pour my heart and soul into something I don’t believe in.” She continued, “we did birthday cakes for same-sex couples all the time.”

The business had to close due to the damages lodged against the business. The Kleins said they are refusing the pay the amount and are working on an appeal. The state is forcing payment and going after the Kleins personal finances, Aaron said. The women have said they don’t want the money, according to Aaron, and the Kleins are refusing to pay it. The state is forcing payment.

The couple later baked and sent a cake with the message “we really do love you” to those who filed the complaint against them.

“After this happened, watching God take care of us and provide has just been, you know, such an amazing thing, and so I now sit here today—compared to two and a half almost three years ago—and I feel like I completely, one hundred percent trust in the Lord, and my faith is just—it’s so huge now.”

Marlow noted that, during the Pope’s visit to the United States, he congratulated the country on having no religious persecution. Aaron said he had heard about that, and now he is hearing about similar cases left and right. “It’s something that’s taken off in tremendous proportions, and if you don’t think it’s happening, you need to get educated and you need to get activated.”

Aaron closed, “The problem is today is we’ve got the government right now saying, ‘choose this day who you will serve, God or government.'”

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.