The persecution of Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is not about justice or the rule of law. It’s about advancing the perverted agenda of the gay rights crowd and imposing their immorality on everyone.
The Kleins own an Oregon bakery called Sweet Cakes by Melissa. They drew the ire of the gay rights crowd when in January 2013 they declined to make a cake for the so-called “wedding” of two women: Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman. One month later, the two women filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. At the time, same sex marriage was banned in Oregon. It would be eight months before the state even recognized same sex “weddings” from other states and more than a year before a federal judge would unconstitutionally strike down Oregon’s ban on same sex “weddings.”
In other words, religious convictions aside, the Kleins declined to participate in a practice that was then illegal in their state. Their religious objections to participating in a so-called gay “marriage” were just icing on the cake, so to speak.
Six months after the complaint, in August 2013, the Bureau of Labor and Industries opened its inquiry. Again, this was before the state even recognized same sex “weddings” of any kind as legal, which it began doing in October.
In April, as a result of the “inquiry,” an Oregon administrative law judge — who is an employee of the Bureau of Labor and Industries (the importance of this fact is revealed below) — recommended the Kleins be fined $135,000 for “violating the state’s public accommodation law by denying Rachel and Laurel full and equal access to their bakery, which the state considers a place of public accommodation.”
Last week, the Kleins’ lawyers requested the case be reopened after public records requests unearthed multiple emails, telephone calls and private meetings between employees of the bureau — including its commissioner Brad Avakian, who hires the bureau’s administrative law judges — and members of Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s largest gay promoting organization in the state. The communications reveal a very cozy relationship between the bureau and Basic Rights Oregon, and that the gay rights organization was consulting with bureau employees about the case during the “inquiry.”
The emails also reveal that Avakian purchased tickets costing hundreds of dollars to fundraisers and gay pride parades to benefit Basic Rights Oregon while the agency was conducting its “inquiry.” I put quotes around the word “inquiry” because the whole operation has been revealed as a sham — a kangaroo court. Not so coincidentally, Avakian received at least $12,800 in campaign donations from Basic Rights Oregon and its PAC from 2007 to 2014.
And in testimony during the “inquiry,” Aaron Cryer, Rachael’s younger brother who was living with the couple at the time, claimed that a representative of the bureau told him he was “unsure on whether or not we should pursue the case right now or wait, just because of marriage equality in Oregon becoming a thing, and we were looking at the scope as a bigger whole.”
Avakian revealed his inherent bias in the case in a Facebook post he made in February 2013. Before he had heard any evidence in the case, Avakian posted a pronoun challenged message claiming: “Everyone has a right to their (sic) religious beliefs, but that doesn’t mean they (sic) can disobey laws that are already in place. Having one set of rules for everybody ensures that people are treated fairly as they go about their daily lives,” and he linked the post to a local news report about a Food Network host offering to make a wedding cake for the couple.
Avakian makes the final ruling in cases for the bureau and has the authority to adopt all or any part of the administrative law judge’s recommendation regarding the Kleins’ case. He’s expected to issue his ruling this summer. Clearly, he is incapable of making an impartial decision.
It’s also clear that Oregon’s public accommodations law runs afoul of the state’s Constitution and its Bill of Rights. In short, it’s the Kleins’ religious freedom rights that are being violated.
In Article I of the Oregon Constitution, we find:
Section 2. Freedom of worship. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.—
Section 3. Freedom of religious opinion. No law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise, and enjoyment of religeous [sic] opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.—
If the Kleins are compelled by the state’s public accommodation law to violate their religious convictions — their “rights of conscience” — against participating in a gay “wedding,” then that law is illegal because it violates their freedom of worship and freedom of religious opinion rights guaranteed them under sections 1 and 2 of the state’s Bill of Rights.
The Supreme Court and gay ‘marriage’
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on gay marriage when it hands down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Regulating marriage is not a power granted (enumerated) to the Federal government in the Constitution. It’s not an issue over which the Supreme Court has any jurisdiction.
If the court rules gay marriage is legal, it will destroy the institution of marriage and religious liberty in America. Such a ruling would violate Christians’ rights guaranteed under the 1st Amendment as incorporated by activist judiciaries under the magical 14th Amendment. I would say it would also destroy the rule of law, but all pretenses that America is a nation of laws were dropped long ago.
Plus, the fix on that case is also likely in. Two justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan — have officiated at gay “marriage ceremonies and should have recused themselves from the case. They are anything but impartial arbiters.
In an 1885 decision, the Supreme Court included in its majority opinion in Murphy v. Ramsey that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Part of the decision reads:
For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the co-ordinate States of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement.
And to this end, no means are more directly and immediately suitable than those provided by this act, which endeavors to withdraw all political influence from those who are practically hostile to its attainment.
And in the U.S. v. Windsor case that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the court essentially ruled, as Chief Justice John Roberts opined, that DOMA was unconstitutional because it interfered with the state’s control of marriage.
A Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage would not only overturn 130 years of precedent, it would conflict with a recent prior ruling of the same court. Also, the court is likely to cite the magic 14th Amendment’s “equal protection clause” if it so rules.
But the 14th Amendment, which was never constitutionally ratified, had nothing to do with gay marriage — nor most of the things for which it is used as justification. The states that did ratify the 14th Amendment all had laws on the books prohibiting sodomy.
Marriage in the U.S. has historically been defined as the monogamous union of one consenting heterosexual male and one consenting heterosexual female. If the court can simply remove one word from that definition in order to redefine marriage for gays and make it also mean to be between two men and/or two women, what’s to stop it from removing or redefining the other words to make a “marriage” a union of two women and one man, three men and one woman, one woman and one dog, one man and two young girls, two women and one computer, or any other combination man’s perverted mind can conjure up, just to satisfy some perceived aggrieved class?
The answer: Nothing.
Why the Christian cannot accept gay ‘marriage’
Inevitably, conversations on this subject turn to the questions of why can’t a Christian accept gay “marriage” and why can’t a Christian participate in a gay “wedding” by providing a good or service.
God established marriage in Genesis 2 as between one man and one woman:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him…” Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:18, 23-24, ESV)
It was this passage Jesus was quoting in Matthew 19 when he reaffirmed for the Pharisees what makes a lawful and godly marriage in response to their question about divorce.
Many seeking to find justification for their sin claim Jesus never mentioned “gay marriage” and, therefore, never condemned it. But in affirming what marriage was, Christ eliminated what marriage wasn’t.
Jesus spoke several times about fornication, which is a general word covering unlawful (that is God’s law) sexual intercourse outside of its rightful place in the marriage of one man and one woman. He called sex outside lawful marriage “sexual immorality” in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:1-9. That clearly covers sex between same sex couples and sex between unmarried heterosexual couples — whether adultery or fornication.
Jesus also told the disciples in John 14:16-17 that there were concepts and principles he would not address that would be addressed by the Holy Spirit, which would guide the disciples to “all truth.” The Holy Spirit guided the authors of the New Testament, so the epistles are an extension of Jesus’ — and, therefore, God’s — teaching.
If one dismisses the epistles, or any of the books of the New Testament, then he doesn’t believe Jesus and is not a Christian, whatever his claims to the contrary.
In writing about homosexuality in Romans 1 (calling it a shameless act) and 1 Corinthians 6 (saying those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom), Paul was writing the word of God as given him by the Holy Spirit, which was by extension the message of Christ. (1 Corinthians 14:36-38)
But Paul also wrote that those who “suppress the truth” or “ignore God’s righteous decree” of the truth and “give approval” to those who practice sexual immorality — or to a host of other sins mentioned in Scripture — are just as guilty as those who practice it.
It is commonly said that Christians are to love the sinner and hate the sin. That is true. But that does not mean the Christian can condone, accept or participate — even tangentially — in the sin.
Forcing Christians to do so against their will is tyranny and a violation of their rights under God’s law and natural law.