The lesbian couple turned away by a Gresham bakery that refused to make them a wedding cake for religious reasons should receive $135,000 in damages for their emotional suffering, a state hearings officer says.
Rachel Bowman-Cryer should collect $75,000 and her wife, Laurel Bowman-Cryer, $60,000 from the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, an administrative law judge for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said in a proposed order released Friday, April 24.
Friday’s ruling comes as the newest development in a legal dispute over a Christian couple’s insistence that their religious beliefs against same-sex marriage trump a state law requiring them to serve customers equally.
The LGBT advocacy group Basic Rights Oregon issued a statement praising the State’s actions.
“This case struck a chord with many Oregonians because allowing businesses to deny goods and services to people because of who they are and whom they love is hurtful and wrong,” said Jeana Frazzini, Basic Rights Oregon’s co-director.
“The business owners in the case believed they had the right to deny services because of their religious beliefs,” said Nancy Haque, also a co-director. “Religious freedom is a fundamental part of America, and is written into our state’s constitution already. But those beliefs don’t entitle any of us to discriminate against others. Religious liberty should not be used to discriminate against people.”
I think things are going to get ever more nasty for these people if they keep pushing the envelope like this.