As you might have heard, the state of Oregon has decreed that Sweet Cakes by Melissa must pay $135,000 to the lesbian couple whom they (apparently) “mentally raped” by refusing to bake their wedding cake.
Via Rachel Lu at the Federalist:
The final judgment, which came last Thursday, came with another twist. Aaron and Melissa Klein have also been given a “cease and desist” order, which effectively decrees they must refrain from stating their continued intention to abide by their moral beliefs.
Let’s be clear on why this is so sinister. There are times when speech rights conflict with other legitimate social goods. The public’s right to know can conflict with individual privacy rights. Sometimes threats to public safety warrant keeping secrets. There can be interesting debates about intellectual property rights. These cases can get tricky, and we should all understand that speech rights necessarily do have certain pragmatic limits.
None of those concerns apply here. The Kleins did not threaten public safety. They violated no one’s privacy or property rights. Rather, the Oregon labor commissioner, Brad Avakian, wanted to silence them because the content of their speech. Presumably he was angry that the Kleins’ defiant stance had earned them a potentially profitable reputation as heroes for religious freedom. They were meant to be humiliated and cowed; instead there was a real chance they would land on their feet. So they had to be gagged to prevent that from happening.
If the First Amendment doesn’t apply to a case like this, it is meaningless.
This is spiteful, vindictive bullying — straight-up. The idea is to prevent them from getting public support like other victims of the Gaystapo have (in the form of donations and business and even words of encouragement.)
The good news is – the Kleins have decided to fight the gag order:
‘I refuse to comply’: Owner of bakery fined $135,000 not intimidated by accompanying gag order
The order was signed by Brad Avakian, the commissioner of the BOLI and a vocal supporter of the LGBTQIA community.
“Within Oregon’s public accommodations law is the basic principle of human decency that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, has the freedom to fully participate in society,” the ruling states. “The ability to enter public places, to shop and dine, to move about unfettered by bigotry.”
On a side note here – I predicted that once gay marriage was legalized, LGBTQIA supporters would attempt to silence all dissent.
Avakian has publicly stated his intentions to target Christian business owners who do not comply with his way of thinking. Here’s what he told The Oregonian about Sweet Cakes By Melissa in 2013:
“The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate.”
Here we have a government employee who wants to “rehabilitate” Christian business owners like the Kleins. How exactly does Avakian plan on purging their religious beliefs? Is the state of Oregon running a reeducation camp? Or maybe they prefer to use shock therapy.
I’m truly interested to know what sort of conversion therapy treatments Avakian uses. However, he won’t return my telephone calls.
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.”
You can now buy cakes on the Klein’s carefully worded website.
I’ve also added a link to their website on my right sidebar.