As Twitchy recently reported, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, the Oregon bakery that refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, was ordered by the commissioner of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to the lesbian couple it “mentally raped” by refusing to serve them.
Unbelievable, right? Even more hard to comprehend was the order that the husband and wife owners cease-and-desist discussing the beliefs that led to their fine. Slate published a piece refuting the existence of a gag order, but the Daily Signal, which broke the story, explains that the order issued by Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian included specific reference to statements by the bakery’s owners talking about their religious beliefs and intent to fight back.
Hans von Spakovsky writes:
… this is the crux of the point made in the original Daily Signal article: If these personal statements of religious belief and willingness to defend themselves against government persecution can be construed as showing “discrimination,” then pretty much almost everything the Kleins could say about their case could be construed by Oregon as showing “discrimination.”
In other words: The Kleins are, yes, “gagged” legally from saying much more, if anything, about their case. Because what they said about their case before—even though they didn’t talk about future decisions about gay couples and wedding cakes—apparently counts as “a clear intent to discriminate in the future.”
For his part, Aaron Klein showed he’s not kidding about fighting back against the gag order by speaking with Fox News host Todd Starnes.
The Kleins did not seem all that concerned about Avakian’s order to remain silent. The first thing they did after reading his edict was to call me.
“I don’t really care,” Mr. Klein told me. “This man has no power over me. He seems to think he can tell me to be quiet. That doesn’t sit well with me – and I refuse to comply.”
The Kleins tell me they have been ordered not to speak to any news organizations or speak publicly – an order they violated when they called me.
“They picked the wrong guy,” Mr. Klein said. “When my constitutional freedoms have been violated by the state, I’m going to speak out. That’s the way it is.”
Mrs. Klein told me she was shocked that the state of Oregon thinks they have the power to silence her voice.
“For us to not be able to speak about it – that’s our freedom of speech,” she said. “All Americans should be free to live and work by their faith and speak their mind.”
Aaron and Melissa Klein certainly have a lot of supporters in their corner. A fundraising page set up to help pay the fine currently looks like this:
We’re sure Oregon will continue its fight as well.