In a politically correct world, the cost of running a business is a lot more than dollars and cents. For Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of a small Oregon bakery, the price is their First Amendment rights. Their dream of opening a dessert shop near Portland, Ore., turned into a nightmare when two lesbians refused to take no for an answer on their request for a same-sex wedding cake.
Exactly one year ago, the Kleins explained they couldn’t take the order because it would violate their faith to participate in a same-sex marriage ceremony. Furious, the women filed a complaint with the state. The story made national headlines, as the young couple became another face in the war on religious liberty.
“We still stand by what we believe from the beginning,” Aaron Klein told reporters. “I’m not sure what the future holds, but as far as where we’re at right now … it’s almost as if the state is hostile toward Christian businesses.”
And the state isn’t the only one. After word spread, the harassment in the liberal suburb of Portland became too much to take. The Kleins were forced to close their shop in Gresham and operate out of their home. Even there, the family was a target. Activists broke into their company truck and painted bigot across the side.