Just hours after Oregon officials announced that Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa, would be fined $135,000 for their refusal to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding, Aaron Klein had a message for government officials: He has no plans of backing down.
"He wants to silence anyone who opposes his point of view," Klein told TheBlaze, speaking specifically about Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who has spearheaded the case against the couple. "Unfortunately, he’s doing this with the wrong Christian, because I fight back."
Klein also delivered a message to Americans and business leaders about why he believes that his case is monumentally important.
"For years, we’ve heard same-sex marriage will not affect anybody," he said. "I'm here firsthand to tell everyone in America that it has already impacted people. Christians, get ready to take a stand. Get ready for civil disobedience."
Image via Sweet Cakes by Melissa/Facebook
Klein said he and his wife will request a stay in an effort to delay the order, which he said requires them to immediately cut a $135,000 check to Rachel Cryer-Bowman and Laurel Bowman-Cryer, the couple who were refused a cake by the bakery. He also said that the appeals process will likely be undertaken.
"It has the potential to financially ruin our family … [Avakian] knew that full well going into this," Klein said of the massive sum they have been mandated to pay after citing their Christian views in declining the cake. "He did not seek business assets, he sought personal property."
Klein, who is a Christian and a father of five, said that he doesn't think the timing of the case is a surprise either — the official ruling came just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.
"This situation right here flies in the face of the Constitution at every level," Klein added.
He also accused Avakian of attempting to further restrict his First Amendment rights by affirming that the couple do not have the right to advertise that they would decline to make same-sex wedding cakes in the future. Klein similarly mentioned past claims that there is an inappropriate relationship between between Avakian's Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and Basic Rights Oregon, a gay rights group.
"This guy has been biased from the get-go, from the original statement that he said that he needed to rehabilitate us, then he turned around and refused to get out of the game even though he was in collusion with Basic Rights Oregon," Klein said. "He then did a final order where he stripped me of my First Amendment rights, which would be my religious and free speech rights."
The Daily Signal reported that the ruling included a "cease and desist," which reportedly came after Klein was interviewed by the Family Research Council, proclaiming that he and his wife would not back down.
Text in the order reads: "The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] 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."
Listen to the Kleins speak on The Church Boys podcast earlier this year: