Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Christian bakers who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2013, are standing strong in their beliefs after the latest round of fines brought against them.
Last Thursday, an Oregon labor commissioner ordered the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to the couple.
The official then banned them from speaking publicly about their conscientous decision to follow their religious beliefs by not baking any cakes for same-sex weddings.
The company has gone out of business due to the legal battle.
CBN News spoke with Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, about the massive fine and gag order imposed on the Christian bakers. Click play to watch the interview.
An article by The Daily Signal, a publication of the Heritage Foundation, states that Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to “cease and desist” from openly professing that they won’t serve gay weddings because of their Christian beliefs.
Avakian cited an Oregon state law in his ruling:
“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders (the Kleins) to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation.”
During a visit in Oregon, the Kleins told CBN News they were shocked by the gag order.
“You’re looking at a government agency telling a private citizen what they can and cannot say…This should scare every American,” Aaron said. “That’s downright scary that the government that was put in place to protect our freedoms is now stripping them away from us.”
His wife, Melissa, said she should not be constrained from talking about her faith.
“I don’t see how somebody can tell me to be quiet and, frankly, I’m not going to be quiet about my faith,” she said. “I mean it’s my faith and I should have every right to talk about it.”
The Kleins say they’re planning to appeal the ruling.