After refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian ceremony, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Or., said they have been targeted with what their attorney called “economic terrorism” and threats of physical violence, including rape, The Blaze reported Friday.
The trouble began in January, when the baker reportedly declined to make the cake, citing his religious beliefs.
A discrimination complaint was filed against the bakery, but Billy Hallowell said “it was apparently improperly filed” as no action has taken place.
“February 1st or 2nd, I got a letter from the Oregon DOJ, saying I was under investigation for a possible discrimination complaint,” Aaron Klein said.
Initially, the community rallied around the bakery, but support has started to wane.
Now, the Kleins regularly receive what Hallowell described as “virulent e-mails and phone calls.”
“You stupid bible thumping, hypocritical b***h. I hope your kids get really, really, sick and you go out of business,” one e-mail says.
“Here’s hoping you go out of business, you bigot. Enjoy hell,” said another.
Some said Aaron should be shot for not making the cake, while one called for him to be raped.
“Some have even wished for the couple’s five children to be stricken with illness,” Hallowell added.
In addition to the threatening rhetoric, the Kleins say their vendors have been “badgered and harassed” into not doing business with them. As a result, their orders are down and some have canceled their orders.
“My attorney likens this — he calls it economic terrorism,” Aaron said. “These people, they have literally tried to cut any business ties off through harassment.”
Some who continue to do business with the shop have asked that the bakery keep labels off the products.
“Another thing lately that we’ve been noticing happening — we’ll have the people who support us,” Melissa told The Blaze. “They’ve come in and ordered stuff, but they don’t want us to put our sticker on the box. They don’t want people to know they got their stuff with us.”
Making matters worse, Hallowell said that Willamette Week, an Oregon publication, apparently attempted to entrap the bakery by pretending to order cakes for events they thought the Christian couple would object to.
According to Williamette Week, the Kleins were upset the publication “would even try to entrap a business” and contacted conservative talk show host Lars Larson.
Threats of physical violence against those who do not support the gay lifestyle are nothing new.
Last May, 16-year-old Madeleine McAulay was targeted with hate and death threats after she posted a video on YouTube supporting traditional marriage.
The same month, the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, Indiana, went on lockdown after the pastor began receiving death threats over an anti-gay song performed by a toddler.
Despite the threats, the Kleins say they stand by their convictions and love everyone — even gays and lesbians.
“I would do anything for a homosexual. I would give the shirt off my back,” Melissa said. “I’ve had gay friends, I’ve had gay people in my life.”
“I’m a Christian. I wish that everyone could be saved — everyone could be a believer. We have a want for everyone to know Christ,” Aaron added. “I did what I did because I would not want to support somebody in something that would be a bad decision.”
“I can say I don’t want to take part in something that violates my religious beliefs. If they want to shut me down because of it, then they could shut me down,” he told The Blaze.
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